Also in The Washington Post:
So many revelations in Chris Richards’s in-depth profile of D.C.’s own rap superstar-in-waiting Wale as he braces for the high-pressure release tomorrow of his ambitious new album, “The Gifted.” Richards paints a portrait of a singularly neurotic guy who, as he “he shoulders the burden” of being D.C.’s first nationally-recognized hip-hop star is grappling with anxieties that are either “the fuel propelling him upward or the sandbags holding him down.” Go read the whole thing: D.C.’s Wale wrestles with fame and anxiety. But here are some of the more interesting details:
— Did you know that his cousin is actor Gbenga Akinnagbe, the charismatic Montgomery County native who played scary Chris Partlow in “The Wire” and the beatific health-care aide in “The Savages”? Well, we did not know this, and now we do.
— He is a closet country-music fan, having spent much of his childhood riding shotgun in his dad’s taxi and sopping up whatever tunes the passengers wanted to hear on the radio. (“To prove it, he sings the chorus of Alabama’s 1992 country hit ‘I’m In a Hurry (And Don’t Know Why)’ with a soft, sweet rasp.”)
— Most amazingly, of course, there’s his new friendship with Jerry Seinfeld, his brother in nebbishy insecurity, whom he recruited to cameo on his new album. It goes back to when Wale released his Seinfeld-inspired “Mixtape About Nothing” in 2008. The comedian tells Richards that when Wale asked him to contribute to a track, “that was so insane that, of course, I had to say yes.” (More outtakes from the interview: Seinfeld explains the commonality between his sensitivity and Wale’s: “I think all art begins with irritation.”)
Today, Wale released a video teaser for the new CD that shows him at work with Seinfeld in the studio. It sounds like they’re bickering about, well, nothing; then it turns out that that’s the track.
In the video, Wale explains his new connection with Jerry: “He’s a very, like, wise person. He’s probably the richest person I know, so his perspective on everything is different. . . In the rap community, all we know is the maximum is like Jay-Z, as far as winning in life. [Seinfeld]’s on like another level of success outside of music.”
Read more from Chris Richards’s story: D.C.’s Wale wrestles with fame and anxiety