A lot of MCs would be patting themselves on the back if they were in Wale’s Dunks. It seems like someone sent him the “Hot Rapper Kit” in the mail — he is one of the 10 MCs that XXL magazine says we need to watch; he has the big label deal with Interscope via star DJ Mark Ronson’s Allido Records; he counts Fabolous, Kanye and Lily Allen as friends and collaborators; and he’s inked a management deal with Jay-Z’s Roc Nation imprint.
While he’s thankful all the “cool kids” know his name, he sees it as the beginning of a long process to get to stardom. As far as he’s concerned, the hard part ain’t over yet.
“That’s kind of like the ‘tastemaker’-type crowd, the people that are into all that Internet ahead-of-the-curve type people. There’s still millions and millions of people that listen to the radio that don’t know who I am,” he says. “So with that I feel like I haven’t really done much.”
Led by the Lady Gaga assisted single “Chillin’” his debut album “Attention Deficit” came out last week.
Wale, who was born Olubowale Victor Folarin, says although he is from Washington, D.C., he isn’t trying to be more street than he is.
“I am more or less like an observer. I never grew up soft or nothin’ but I never grew up selling coke,” he says. “From the celebrity world to the street world, I just observe.”