Artist on the Rise - Wale!

. Feb 27, 2008

As my fellow blogger stated in a prior post, we had the fortunate opportunity to catch Wale (government name Olubowale Folarin) perform a quick set in, of all places, Charlottesville, where most of the iLLVibes bloggers attend school. The only device I had to record any memories from this event was my camera phone. As expected, most of the photos I took were blurry and nowhere near the quality I had hoped or expected. One picture stood out, though, as if created by a crystal ball. It was a harbinger of things to come for this hungry rapper whose roots in the Washington D.C., Maryland, and Virginia area (DMV) have spawned an overwhelming drive surpassing that of most artists. For me, and take this with a grain of salt, the shadow in the picture represents the future for Wale, his potential to become great in this wretched game, a frontrunner hip-hop heads have been dying to hear. As Wale poignantly states in Chicago Falcon, we "hate rap like Kramer hate blacks."

And who to lean on to save us from this depression? Wale is the DMV's version of Lupe; then again, I've always hated comparisons because of the danger of generalizations. As a fervent fan of both, there are obvious differences between the two, and this in large part is due to each other's background. The wordplay, lyrical content, swagger, style - these are comparable in both, although there are various deviations. But as Wale said, his is a style called "rap with a go-go attachment," and this is true even when the beat is not heavily go-go. The way he flows on a beat is heavily at odds with his Chi-town brethren, and it is a flow that places you in a good mood. With this incredible flow comes witty jabs (a la Lil Wayne), along with a lyrical depth that forces you to listen attentively, as you would with Lupe.

With three mixtapes (download his latest one for free from his myspace) behind him, Wale definitely has the experience to handle what is to come in his future. (I actually have the inside scoop on something major, but it is best that Wale publicly announces this development.) In addition, Wale intends to come out with another mixtape (hilariously entitled Mixtape About Nothing) and will drop a video for his song W.A.L.E.D.A.N.C.E. very soon (check out the previews below).

"I kill beats, this is euthanasia / I rock Bapes like the youth in Asia."

For more information on Wale, check out the following: