When the president gives you a very loud shout-out, the polite and predictable response is something akin to “Thanks!” Most of the artists on Obama’s second annual summer play list, which featured 39 songs in all, did just that.

Musicians from Corinne Bailey Rae to the Beach Boys thanked the president for including their hits — some old, some new — in his yearly listicle. They were “honored.” They humble bragged. For the most part, they telegraphed in one tweet that precise blend of surprise and humility that you see at a Grammy podium. Kiwi singer-songwriter Gin Wigmore even put a political stamp on her social gratitude, pointing to her new status as a “recently inducted American resident.”




And then there was Wale.

While the rest of Obama’s “Now That’s What I Call Music!” cast took a quick bow and exited stage left, Wale, the Washington-based rapper who never met a rant he couldn’t dive into, had one of his moments. Wale’s 2013 song “LoveHate Thing” is the first on the president’s list and instead of wallowing in that, the rapper responded to one troll who took issue with the president’s taste.

The rapper then launched into a not-suitable-for-work rant against a former magazine editor who tweeted, “if i’m trump i’m pushing the narrative that obama really put wale on his playlist in an effort to undermine his administration.”

With 4.9 million plus followers and a presidential stamp of approval, Wale, one of the only nationally known rappers from the District, proceeded to fire off tweet after tweet about how underrated he is in the eyes of a “culture vulture” who don’t really listen to his music. This is what Wale does. He responds directly to fans and haters alike in real time, political correctness be damned. Wale is like a hip hop version of Luther, the president’s fictional “anger translator.”