DC rapper Olubowale Victor Akintimehin, better known as Wale, has been hitting the hip-hop scene hard since his single “Dig Dug (Shake It)” back in 2006. Since then, Wale has been doing anything but chillin, releasing several mix tapes and four albums without any signs of slowing down. Wale was originally signed to Interscope, but eventually left to join Rick Ross’ Maybach Music, where he released his second album, Ambition. The album appeared at no. 2 on the Billboard 200 chart, selling close to half a million copies.
Gaining inspiration from the go-go inspired hip-hop music scene in D.C., Wale claims everything he’s done, from mix tapes to third album The Gifted have all been extensions of his roots. Wale was drawn to the raw, percussion-driven offshoot of DC originating disco. His first hit, “Dig Dug” was a tribute to Dig Dug Dixon of the go-go band, The Northeast Groovers. DJ Mark Ronson eventually caught wind of Wale’s sound, which lead to the release of his first mixtape, 100 Miles and Running. Wale is now ready to drop his fourth studio album, The Album About Nothing. We sat down with Wale to talk about his career, new endeavors and much more, check it out!
What’s been your biggest career achievement to date?
A platinum single and a gold album, I have high standards for my music so being able to achieve those was good for me.
How will Album About Nothing compare to The Gifted?
Album About Nothing is going to be completely different from anything else I have released commercially. I hope everybody is bracing themselves for something different.
How do you stay motivated while taking on new endeavors?
Well I haven’t really gotten anywhere in my career, I haven’t really done enough to be satisfied. Not even for a normal person’s expectations, I haven’t done enough. Right now, I just got to try and accomplish a couple things before I can even start to think I’ve done anything.
If you weren’t rapping what would your career be?
I’d probably want to do something in sports, maybe work for a sports agency.
What’s the best advice you would give for dealing with haters?
I’m probably the worst person to ask about that! I don’t deal with ‘em very well.
Who is on the up-and-coming for 2014?
Me! Nah, I think it’s really up for grabs right now, man. I couldn’t say.
Who (other than you) do you think made the best album of the year?
Do you have anything else to add?
With rap, it is because it is. You can’t really describe it, to me, it was the best album of the year.
What’s your biggest pet peeve?
Inconsiderate people right now, that’s my biggest pet peeve of the month, at least.
Late night drive-through or food to go?
Something about a drive-through, man. Something about it. It’s just like, “feed me right now.” I don’t want to know what kind of shoes you wore, I don’t want to know your name, just slide this food through this window right now, feed me.
What was your first car?
An ’89 Camry, my first car.
What’s your first memory of this car and where is it now?
It’s probably been recycled into a skateboard or a Tonka truck or something by now. I hope it’s not on the road anymore.
How did you get this car?
It was 900 dollars, I saved up a couple paychecks and just had to get something, man.
Got anything else to add?
Nah, not really I’m pretty happy right now. Oh- I forgot I do have an album.
Make sure you guys cop that Gifted in stores and on iTunes right now.