Wale Discusses Arrogance & Boring People

Wale: 11 people in the studio right? They’re gonna hear this interview, because it’s important

Culture VI: Lot of respect for agreeing to talk

Wale: We can keep this interview respectful, because it took a lot. In the tweet you said something to the effect of, I don’t wanna get it wrong, what did you say?

Culture VI: I don’t know, I’ve said a lot of things on Twitter

Wale: It was something like my album wasnt good and I’m cocky, right?

Culture VI: Yea, that’s comes up a lot

Wale: Before we get into this, just like you’re recording this interview, the whole room is gonna hear it. I haven’t done an interview in a very long time, you feel me? (puts on speakerphone)

Culture VI: No problem. I’m glad you agreed.

Wale: I wanted to do this interview, first and foremost, because I’m all about inspiring myself,, and I ain’t really done an interview in a long time and I probably get a lot of text messages from certain people “why you do it?”. It was necessary because you are somebody that, I read your time line, you are somebody who is intelligent and well spoken so I thought it was interesting to hear those comments you made about me and my work. Especially the personal things, like the ‘cocky’ and all of that. So we can get right into the interview. I just wanted to let everyone know why I was doing this weird ass interview in the middle of a studio session. Weird not meaning the person I’m talking to, but weird as far as people are working on an amazing song here. I got a rock band in here, I got Rosco Dash in here, I got 3 producers and I got some crazy engineers here. I wanted to stop just to do this interview, just a little intermission.

Culture VI: I appreciate that. Listen, I’m a fan of hip-hop, I root for anybody to make good music, I never root for somebody not to make good music, selfishly, because I want to hear it. I’d like nothing better than for you to make an album that I want to listen to. And that’s why I’m glad we’re getting a chance to talk, because not being a friend of yours, and not knowing you personally, I can only speak on what I hear through the music, through your other interviews and social media. So getting to talk to you directly, I feel I’ll at least get a better picture of who you are and your thought process. So starting off, I’m gonna get right into it, what do you feel is the biggest misconception about you?

Wale: I mean, there’s a lot. Human beings, that’s what we’re here for. We’re supposed to misunderstand each other. If everybody understood each other, we’d have wings…and we’d be able to talk to God. Now I say that and say this, my music is based on reality and artists are supposed to almost accentuate all of their qualities for better or worse. I’m sure the most depressing song ever written by the most depressing person on Earth wasn’t as depressed as they depicted it to be. A song is supposed to accentuate human emotions. So, I put those things and emotions on the genre, Hip Hop, where we are praised for how we say rather than what we say. So if I exude confidence on a hip-hop record and I’m really good at exuding confidence on it, you’re gonna call me cocky? Well what should I tell you? I woke up at 8 o’clock this morning, ate a bowl of cheerios, went to the studio, made a mediocre song, and went to sleep? Is that what people would prefer you think? Because I’m sure if I said I put on some 400 dollar Jordans, a Moschino shirt, and some PRPS’s and I went to the studio and killed every nigga in hip-hop on a song…motherfuckers would check for me. I’d get close to a million followers quickly.

Culture VI: It seems that fans and people I see on Twitter, they really have exceptionally strong opinions of you. Whether it’s positive, negative, accurate or not, a lot of people feel one way strongly. What do you think it is about you specifically that’s so polarizing? That gets people on one side or the other?

Wale: It’s the “Sanders Theory”. Deion or Barry, pick one. People love Barry Sanders for doing what? For damaging his body for the Detriot Lions for 10 years. Then when he walked away from the game with both of his knees intact, I heard the worse things from people of that area, the Lions fans, about him. Deion, put it all out there. I’m gonna high step. I’m excited. I’m gona put it all out there. I don’t get to score that many touchdowns, so I’m excited. Come enjoy this joy with me. Music is a drug, my nigga. Be happy with me, be happy for me. I sold 28,000 records my first week, with no push from my label. My mother couldn’t even buy my album from across the street from my house. You don’t think I’m supposed to be excited to still be here? Working with Rick Ross, one of the hottest rappers in the game? You don’t think I’m excited to have a double platinum record with Roscoe Dash and Waka Flocka? Them same people who was talking about this, that and the third, hip-hop blah blah blah, are the same people in the club singing “No Hands” verbatim. Same people saying “Wale, he’s selling out, blah blah blah”, those are the same people rocking when “No Hands” came out. “Why is he doing this, what’s going on?” Hip Hop. This is hip hop music. And my mission statement is to never dumb it down, but never over-think it.

Culture VI: Do you think that people are overly critical of you? Do you think their expectations are too high?

Wale: Let me tell you something. I literally, physically, in real life, live ten minutes away from the President of the United States. I’m the only rapper. Our sports teams ain’t doing too well. I know the target is on my back and on my chest. Next question is “do I give a fuck?” and how much do I, if so. You got to have the target. I wasn’t talking like this before. Because it’s like, you know what? Let me just keep some of my feelings back. But that ain’t having ambition, you know what I’m saying? The night of, it might have been last year, it was one of the BET Awards. That night, I sat in my hotel room and I didn’t sleep. I knew I was going to leave Interscope. I knew it. You still listening?

Culture VI: Yea, I’m hearing it, I’m hanging on every word.

Wale: Why you hanging on my words right now? Besides the fact you’re doing the interview, why? Are they interesting?

Culture VI: I think anybody’s personal story is interesting as long as they’re speaking it truthfully.

Wale: Nah, I can tell you 90% of this room’s personal story, if told exactly the truth, it wouldn’t be interesting, probably. So anybody’s story isn’t interesting. Having a wife, kid, a dog? That’s not interesting. Going to college for four years, graduating, making $100,000 a year? That’s not interesting. Selling 28,000 records and the whole spiel that I just gave you might not even be interesting, but it’s a lot more interesting than the aforementioned.

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  • So basically my college life experience at Howard, graduating, living in Largo, MD (where he claims he reps), having a wife, a great job and buying a house is not as interesting as his album flopping? Word? This is why I feel like I can’t listen to his music. I know you should separate the personality from the music, and it’s a bit easy to do with, say, Lupe, but it’s almost impossible with this dude. It almost seems like he speaks before thinking. This is the same guy who said one time, “My city doesn’t have groupies.”

    I wish he would have answered a question straight on. He spouts some “Sanders” theory, then half way breaks it down but doesn’t explain why this half-ass theory applies to him being a polarizing figure in music.

    • I agree. Dude is very intellegent, but he definitely has a very narrow way of thinking. He seems extremely closed-minded and insecure. I have a wife, a kid, a career – and I wouldnt’ trade that for his life ever. He thinks the clubs, the girls and the money is exciting. That seems extremely boring to me. Sure, it’s a cool experience, but at the end of the day, what are you really left with?

      I dunno. I’ll post the rest of it soon, but it’s more of the same. Very curious to see what y’all thought.

      Funny thing – you said he speaks without thinking. He knew this interview was coming and he was being very particular about what he said, yet it still came off this way. Interesting.

  • .. And this cunt wonders why people judge him, rightly or wrongly he is marketing it as mistique.

    First was the ‘conscious Wale’ now we have Maybach Wale. I rest my case.

  • I thought that his statement “So anybody’s story isn’t interesting. Having a wife, kid, a dog? That’s not interesting. Going to college for four years, graduating, making $100,000 a year? That’s not interesting.” was disrespectful. People don’t have the same dreams & he should respect that

  • Wale is the definition of diverse. The interview backs it up too. I think the problem is he doesn’t please a certain demograph enough. I’ve never seen so many diverse opinions a musician (except maybe Eminem but hes a whole different monster).

    I remember the first time I heard “Shades” & “Contemplate”. I thought I’d be a fan for life. I respect what he does now but this disposable aspect of his music now isn’t for me.

  • I found it amusing that he was doing this interview to try and clear up people’s view of him being arrogant, yet he came off extremely arrogant in the interview. Ironic.

    Also, his “having a wife, kid, dog not being as interesting as selling 28,000 albums” comment reminded me SO much of Lebron saying “when you wake up tomorrow, you’ll still have the same life” comment after he lost in the NBA Finals. Both of them seem to be saying “well my life is great cus im a star and yours sucks cus you’re just regular”.

  • As I said to Culture before…I don’t believes he just addressing his views but the views of people who have any interaction with media as a whole….He’s just expressing what people believe in but the don’t have the balls to say….Who’s your favorite rappers? do they rap about walking dogs and picking kids up from daycare? If so then how would you end up on this blog….He’s not against the working class life, just the hypocrites in it.

  • Personally artists regardless of how their life may seem meaningless in a format or so they should tell their personal story and others can cope with that story too because they have probably more than likely been through a faction of what he’s talking of in his music. It feels as if Wale is attempting to fill a more personal void with all of these foamposites and beautiful women with no lightbulb upstairs than just actually expressing what it is through a track.

    He’s turned rotten and cocky I feel no humble character anymore it just feels as if he’s a walking time bomb ready to blow off on anyone whom he feels intimidated by or bothered his MMG signing gave him less appeal and with that so he shall receive he forgot his Go-go aura is what made him in the 1st place and now it’s reduced to ash in place of a few lyrical bars and hoes go crazy in clubs for him not worth it if people can’t really get your message it’s all about sending a message fuck money. (Forgive my grammatical errors or punctuation)

  • In his mixtape about nothing and attention deficit he raps about alot of stuff rappers don’t touch…and before you give me a lil list of rappers who do, count them and then count how many rappers are out there right now. I think Wale is a good artist..but he’s doing the one thing hip hop artists seem to look down upon…doing mainstream and intellectual rap

  • We pick out flaws in people we don’t like more than those we do…we hold certain people to standards that we don’t hold to ourselves…I think this is happening a lot with Wale.

  • I’m not mad at him. He’s an underdog who’s been doubted his whole career, & now he’s sitting at the forefront of the game with Rick Ross. I guess he should be able to stunt a lil bit, & feel good about himself. Also, he’s a rapper, he should think the lifestyle he’s rapping about is interesting (clubs, girls, $$, etc). He coulda chose his words a little better and not called regular folk uninteresting, but i think I know what he meant. He’s happy with what he’s doing and where he’s at. Ready for part 2….

    – Dubz


    • I really think that If you blieve in your talents and lot of people criticize or doubt you, you should take the humble way and work hard to show them you’re dope and better than that.

      The hates, critics should be a motivation to get you where you want to be.
      But every one has his own approach. I can see why people hate him

    • I think this totally goes against what Rick Ross’ vision was. When he was being heavily criticized in the public (police stories etc) and being attacked by 50 cent, Rick Ross kept replying with dope ass music! Wale Responds with mediocre music, bragging about being the weakest link on the no hands song, and how we should praise him for getting a Jay Z cosign, a track with Jazmine Sullivan, and a single with Lady Gaga ( the biggest pop star right now arguably) and STILL flopping… whose fault is that???? Ours?

  • yeah lot of talented people suck because of those arrogant talks.
    Lebron is a great example of that and he’s the one that brings all the hate after his “decision”.

    I think 50 has that syndrome too. They say “Fuck Your life” to the people that contributed to putting them in that great space and spotlight.

    And people don’t like ungrateful persons

  • Are Pimp C, Snoop, Too Short, KRS-One lyrically more thought provoking than Wale? (from level of complexity in their lyrics standpoint)…..Honestly, no. I can listen to any of those guys once and not have them challenge me mentally as far a lyrical structure goes. But I enjoy them nonetheless and they’re regarded as legends. The Underground seen is full of the rappers who only talk about “wack emcees” and how much better they are. Is that not arrogance? or do we not want to admit because we enjoy their music.

  • “It feels as if Wale is attempting to fill a more personal void with all of these foamposites and beautiful women with no lightbulb upstairs than just actually expressing what it is through a track.” – Eccentritcatl

    What rapper has never done this…..I’m not against negative judgement, but then you gotta point out everybody. You can’t dislike one rapper for doing it and disregard the rest.

    Jay does it, Kanye does it, Raekwon does it, Eminem is the king of it…Wale does it too.

    • “Jay does it, Kanye does it, Raekwon does it, Eminem is the king of it…Wale does it too.”


  • @ makhtar – it takes being over confident & a certain amount of arrogance to get where these “celebrities” and “stars” have gotten in their careers. U gotta believe in urself and ride that fine line between confidence & arrogance. Some can just hide it better than others. This goes back to Wil’s other article. A lot of people are better than 90%, it’s that confidence/arrogance that can make u better than 99%. This convo is going beyond Wale, cuz hes not THAT big of a name, atleast for now, but think about Kanye. He’s arrogant as fuck, but u gotta love him. That mindset of “I’m better than anyone else doing this” is what got these people places.

    • yea but Kanye has the music to back it up. so arrogance can be part of his persona but it works because he releases classic music. but if you or me, or wale or any other rapper who hasn’t released that caliber of music starts talking like Kanye, it just looks foolish.

    • This is true, however, if you are really intelligent, you have to realize that there is always somebody you have never met who is better than you, to keep yourself grounded. When you are executing your creations you better know that you are the best to ever do it. When you are promoting, selling, working, referring to your work, remember you are the best.

      When you are living, being interviewed, not creating, and just speaking on life as an artist, or basically just “in real life” you have to be able to distinguish the two. There is a time and a place for everything. You have to be real, even when you are the best, be humble. Im one of thos epeople, when im working, im the best that ever did it (even if i dont meet my own expectations in the end) but when i am “living”, im just like any other human being living, we are equal, and I do not consider myself better, or worse, than anyone. There must be balance.

      Or else…

  • Im reading everything everyone has said, including 6. I agree with damn near everything everyone has written. But really, for me anyways, to keep it pretty simple, Wales’ success and greatness is within his own mind. Really it has yet to manifest itself to the level in which he is aspiring for. Granted that you gotta believe in yourself, but to convey conceit over confidence (fine line), and to not really be that compelling of an artist….. Im just saying ….like the infamous Ghost Face once said…’slow down pa…slow down…’

    • i agree in terms of, i think he’s much better in his mind than he really is. but you can’t argue with the fan base he’s built and the success he’s had. unfortunately, he hasn’t been able to turn that into a great project yet. maybe he will with time.

  • @BigDubz The key point is “U gotta believe in urself and ride that fine line between confidence & arrogance”. His statement about “regular people” lifes was ignorant. That’s beyond arrogance to me.

    Of course you gotta be confident and believe in what you’re doing. But bashing people who take other life directions will not help you achieve your goals.

    And if you take the “I’m better than anyone else doing this” style, you gotta have some classics and talents to prove it. Kanye, Jay-Z, Em… achieved that. Their imprints in the culture are amazing. if Kanye said that We may disagree with it but will respect it considering his background

    • That was pretty much my entire point. Being arrogant is fine if you have the resume to back it up. Jay-Z, Kanye, etc. – fine. Let Wale release one great album first before he considers himself more interesting than the rest of us lowly $100k/year family-oriented slouches.

  • We can go back and forth saying “he said our lives aren’t interesting”….personally, based on the responses I feel like I’m the only one really understanding what he was getting at and not taking it for face value…..we’re mixing up PERSONAL FEELINGS with HIP HOP/BUSINESS….if diddy or hov says they can’t sell an artist because they are “regular”…is it right to be mad? Do we not understand WHY they say it….they might think they’re a great person but a bad investment. Should you take it personal? or try to understand why they said it and look at the broader scope of things?

  • I reserve judgment and response till the whole interview is posted. I’m interested to see what else he said, particularly right after that last statement.

    • just so you know, he didn’t elaborate. we shifted into a new topic. the next thing we talk about is his definition of success and if he feels he’s successful. also, we talk about attention deficit

    • i will, but i spilled Stella on my Macbook Air, so i’m waiting for my new one to be sent to me, probably tomorrow. then i gotta edit it up cus it’s 40 minutes. ill post after i post the text. it’ll DEFINITELY be up by next week tho

  • I may be the only person that feels like this but as an artist myself I actually feel where wale is coming from, Rappers are feelings magnified 1000 times if we got a grand in our pocket to blow that turns into an “I’m rich anthem” if our girlfriend cheats on us that turn into an “all bitches are snakes” song if we feeling good in the studio the music is going to reflect that but in a much greater way the same goes for if we are feeling bad, fans dont get the chance to see us in our daily lives so they draw conclusions off of the music, but in a wierd way most hip hop fans want to be lied to take artist like J.cole or Joe budden they make songs about real life, real situations either going on in their personal lives or their community an because of the nature of their music they are considered “Emo” or “boring” then you take an artist that raps about a whole bunch of bullshit they may not have bitches they couldn’t fuck and drugs they never sold and they are praised for being exciting, truth is regular people are boring thats why they are regular people dont wanna hear about that they be taken somewhere they wanna be taken away from the everyday surroundings and alot of people use music to do that, Wale has the right idea……..

  • for the record – i have no problem with a rapper saying he’s the best that ever lived. just realize that when you say that, you’re significantly increasing expectations. and with that, comes a raised level of criticism. you can’t have it both ways. if you’re humble, you’re less likely to be judged as harshly. but once you talk like the greatest, you’ll be judged against the greatest.

  • I think Wale is a good rapper. I’ve been rocking w/ him since 100 miles and running. I think he knows he’s talented but speaks at times from a bitter place. A place where when he wants to to good and do him at the same time others complain or there’s pressure and that upsets him as it would most people. So now he speaks as if he’s still fighting that and at times I think he is. I do agree that he needs to be more clear with some of these explanations and his p.o.v would be more understandable.
    Also I think what he means as far as stories being interesting is that “house, wife, dog and house” isn’t an interesting story for someone who lives their life in the media, which he does as an artist that’s “on”. Rappers need hyperbole and that lifestyle doesn’t lend itself to that thus is boring for rap music content.

  • I think judging by some of these comments in here,people are getting it
    twisted. I fully admit Wale didn’t exactly articulate it the best but when he
    says home life ain’t interesting and such,I think he means for the people who
    SETTLED for that life and didn’t fully chase their dreams. I know that’s how I
    interpreted it. I’m not a big Wale fan at all but I actually felt what he was
    saying there. I’m 44,married,kids.crib,mortgage blah blah,all of that shit he’s
    talking about. And when I was younger there was a part of me that definitely wanted to still be out there swinging for the fences chasing my goals and I can
    admit before I got some wisdom with age,I resented myslef. I think this is more
    a case of Wale bigging up himself for not quitting when things looked bleek with
    that Interscope situation,and I actually can respect that.Also Culture I gotta
    say that headline is a little disingenuous,but I know this Blog game thing is to
    draw people in so you get a pass lol.
    Also I’m NOT a big Wale fan at all but this was interesting to me for a few
    different reasons than most of y’all I see.
    As always Bro,good work!

  • I honestly think that it was kinda arrogant to say anything about “regular people” . Everyone has a story to tell and some people choose not to express it through hip hop. I’m an artist myself, and been a fan of Wale before he even blew up but I agree with what most of you said. He’s yet to put out a classic peice of material. The “regular people” comment I HAD to speak on. Wale was once a regular person like everyone else. “regular folks” are the folks on the come up and I find those people to be interesting just as much if not more then celebs.

    • He is still a “regular person” This wack rapper aint eating no better than the HU grad making 100,000 a year that he speaks against! Dont be fooled… LOL

  • I think his disdain for going to college and getting married with kids may have something to do with pressure from parents to do that or something. Its seems like his whole purpose in life is to not to live like that or something… I think that view will change as he gets older and matures a little…

  • […] Very open interview where Wale speaks on his perceived cockiness and his first LP, which to certain people was kind of a let down. I thought that his first LP was pretty solid, with Mirrors and Beautiful Bliss being two of my favorite cuts off the album. I do think that with Rick Ross’s production choices behind him he is going to deliver a much more solid second effort. Full transcription of the interview can be found here. […]

  • I like this blog, just saw it thru a link. Seems intelligent. I didnt read all of the comments, yet, but. Wale is obviously insecure, thats nothing rapping, girls, money, or exposure can help, its a character flaw and a handicap in anyones life, even “regular people”. Its an immature outlook on life that he shows here. And that messes his music , self image, and conscious up.

    He definitely is trying to justify his own undoing for the sake of money. Thats fake to me, not diversity. And I think that Pimp C, Snoop Dogg, Pimp C and all that are legends because they are true to themselves. Now thats something that I dont believe Wale is doing. No person is better than another, but he seems to think different. And thats corny, shallow. His lack of success is because of himself. Be yourself and be humble. You’re blessed with intelligence, why not use it?

    This is coming from an artist.


  • dang wale wilding out!! its a shame and he has got a point there are a lot of hypocritical fans who say he’s selling out yet they love no hands. personally I can see both perspectives but at the end of the day a man’s gonna do what he feels like is best for him and its sad in the hip-hop game that 90% of the time that that decision is between integrity and money.

  • Funny thing, I didn’t take his comments the way many of u did. He was trying to prove a point, the same message he sent on Chain Music. People need that geetchi shit. Although YOU may be different, you’re a needle in a haystack. I don’t think he’s cocky. I think he’s bitter.. I see THAT in his tweets …(after ambition dropped) ” RT @Wale: What a day, what a night, what a moment…what a life. My ego is confused, my heart sarcastic, and my brain is chuckling. “… When he was himself the humble dude spitting freely, he was barely recognized. but when he’s loud, proud & gives all this geetchi shit people react. Not always a positive reaction but a reaction nonetheless. Reactions that have only helped his career.