Culture VI: Rick Ross has a very specific formula that he follows. It’s really reminiscent of 50 Cent. When he did his album, he just kind of regurgitated the same type of sound until everybody was tired. I’m not a Rick Ross fan, but I liked his album. I listened to Self Made, and I’m already getting tired of the sound. And then I hear someone like you, who is very creative, and I start to wonder is this going to stifle your creativity, when people are already criticizing you for not showing growth.
Wale: It’s a slight possibility that we put an album together for the people that appreciate the summer. It’s a slight possibility that we kept all the ideas for the albums, like the reaaaaal stuff. Maybe. I don’t think we’re going to sit around with like Steven Spielberg, Hype Williams, Spike Lee and everyone else to create this big movie compilation for the people. We gave them records this summer! I don’t hear no complaints from Flex, Envy, none of them. But I understand your concern, and I appreciate it, as a somewhat of a fan. But, you got to understand who you’re dealing with. My first record, the first verse on there was only 8 bars! That wasn’t no profound shit! ‘Name Wale, they probably know me from the Roc” What the fuck man?! “Shake it, shake it, shake it offff”. That might sound crazy to everyone else, but everybody in DC, they’re going to know that for the rest of their life. So how you going to say ‘Oh, I’m doing a song Malcolm X, and I’m not providing anything for the people’? You talking about somebody who made a song called “Rhyme of the Century”, wrote it when I was like 19 years old, and wanted that to be my biggest record, first song ever! Right? I’m the same person! Listen to Malcolm X. I got a lot of Muslim family members and friends. There’s a lot of gems in that verse. If you can look over the fact I’m rhyming on a quote-unquote “Lex Lugar-sounding beat”, or rhyming with two ex-drug dealers. If you can look past that and listen to the verse…you MIGHT hear something, just maybe. If you know into anybody who’s into sneakers and collects sneakers, you MIGHT understand all the jargon I’m talking about in “Fitted Cap”. And I sound very narcissistic right now, like I’m talking down, but that’s not it. I’m going to defend my music. That’s why I take so long to write some of them verses, so I can defend them. Now why don’t you read–somebody got my lyrics up for “By Any Means” – READ IT! You can google it, then read it! And then go ask anybody who know the Qu’ran, and who is appreciative of the faith how they feel about that. Because I touched a lot of with that who never really knew. There’s beauty in that, my nigga, like for real. Really. There’s beauty in that 14 year old kid who slept outside to get them new Jordans, but you ain’t heard me talk about them sneakers in two years. There’s beauty in that. There’s beauty in a lot of motherfuckers that cried, begged, screamed, kicked down the door to hear Wale on a Just Blaze record right? I gave that initially. And the first verse was for you, fortunately. “They tried to tell me I don’t fit up in this mothafucka/ Cause Rozay be talkin’ white, he think he Uncle Ruckus”. Well that might be the case. I can get a Just Blaze beat on my solo album now because of that! That means something to me! “Running Rebels”…that’s hip-hop right there. That’s the same producer that was on my first mixtape who made that beat! Did he change too? Did he do anything different? Nah, that ain’t gonna say that. If I would of put that joint—if I would have made a mixtape 200 Miles Runnin and put that song on there, and put By Any Means verse and rapped it on something with a sample that I probably could never clear, ‘Oh yea, Wale so hip hop. Yea’. These quote-unquote “hip-hop enthusiasts’ don’t—they getting the game fucked up now. Everybody’s an A&R.. for the world’s record label. And they signing everybody. Youtube niggas, everybody, everything. You not listening. You stopped listening! You used to listen, you stopped. You know why you stopped? Because you became an A&R like everybody else. They stopped listening, they started—. Now everybody sizing up. Nobody want to get in the motherfucking game, but everyone wants to call the fucking plays now. Ya’ll stop listening. The niggas that’s listening is Clark Kent, who called me, say “Man, my nigga, you killed that”. Young Guru to call me. For Fab to say “Man, you killin that shit”. They ain’t stop listening. It’s the niggas with the computers, that sit down there and analyze everything. If you go out and see the world and enjoy the club, and see some women and see some things and read some things, and stop looking at the fact that I’m rhyming over something that might sound like something you heard before and listen to the words, like hip hop used to be…niggas might see something.
Culture VI: That’s actually a very fair point. I agree 100 percent when it comes to that. Me personally, I’m 34 years old, when I go out—
Wale: OHHHH! So there you have it! I’m 27, you’re 34 right? So where does that leave us?
Culture VI: Nah, but see, that’s different. I’m not criticizing for something not sounding like it came out of 1994. When I’m out, I listen to the Rick Ross records in the club. Or when I’m with my wife on Friday night–
Wale: What club you in?! What club you went to? What club did you go to? I’m serious, with all due respect. Because in 8 years, when I’m there, chances are I’m not trying to hear nothing geechy niggas is talking about no more, for real. So what club you went in that you got an opportunity to analyze whether or not if you liked how a Rick Ross record felt?
Culture VI: I don’t listen to Rick Ross in my IPod. I listen to Rick Ross when I’m out, when I’m having drinks. I listen to probably half the records on Maybach Music when I’m out
Wale: I’m just going to tell you, because I know you’re an intellectual dude, but you’re showing signs of weakness because you contradicted yourself. I don’t want to tell you where, because when the—you can play it back, and you just did it like 3 times. I respect you enough to tell you that. Because if I didn’t I’d just wait until you got off and just tore you a new one. But I’m not even going to mention it. Now or then. So now back to the ole ‘you heard the album’ while out. Heard half of the album while you were out. It’s about 14 songs on there. Last time I checked, we didn’t have 7 singles. But…I think you might be a closet Maybach fan, so we all good.
Culture VI: I told you, I listen to the records. I wouldn’t put it in my IPod—
Wale: But you just told me you heard it when you was out! We don’t have 7 singles out! You heard all 14 records while out? Wherever club you was at, they played all 14 Maybach records? Who the DJ? Ross probably need to sign that nigga. You heard the whole album.
Culture VI: No, I listen to any new album that people are talking about that has something that interests me. I’ll listen to anything and give it a fair chance. Of course I would, why wouldn’t I? I talk music all day.
Wale: And I appreciate. If you actually sitting back and taking an honest look into the music, I respect that. But if you’re being like a lot of these people that all of the sudden are A&Rs, they probably work at Safeway, or go to school or could be a doctor, a lawyer whatever, but they (want to be) A&Rs on the internet? I can’t respect that. You got to go out and touch the people, you got to go out where we at. By all means, I am not no street nigga. I don’t try to be no street nigga, I don’t want to be no street nigga. I’m a regular nigga, born in D.C., grew up in the suburbs of Maryland. Around a WHOLE lot of ignorant niggas though. So I understand. I understand. My best friend been locked up for 6 years. I know! You know what I’m saying? So before niggas go into that “Blahblahblah, what is he doing?” Nigga! First of all, I always rapped about bitches! And I rapped about women. So, we can throw all that “Blahblahblahblah, he’s rapping–” Nah, that was always the case. I’ve always had subject matter. There’s always subject. It’s all over the album if you listen to it. Maybe you should read the lyrics then. Maybe it’s not for you, but the words is there. If you read it, you’d feel it.
Culture VI: My thing is, I’m listening to some of the Self Made songs, and unless I’m out somewhere, it wasn’t hitting me like that. When that happens, you stop paying attention to the lyrics. Because a song is more than lyrics, it’s the whole package. And that’s what I think that Wale fans are afraid of, that you’re going to lose some of the creativity and—
Wale: But…according to you, my first album wasn’t GOOD, so it’s not much to lose is my point. You can’t be the same person telling me I made a mediocre first album and telling me I’m going to lose my creativity. Something wasn’t there from the jump! In your eyes. So all it is right now for you to do is get your popcorn, get your seat, get your yellow Nuvo, you know what I’m saying? And sit down and be like “Ambition on the motherfucking way, let’s see what he do”.
Culture VI: Well, like I did with Attention Deficit and like I did with Self Made, I am going to buy the album, I am going to take a good, honest listen to it. I am going to root for a good album, because I want what every other hip hop fan wants. We just want more good music.
Wale: But guess what though? The whole point of this interview is for the fact that I want you to, in some shape or form, in your mind, root against me. And then I want you to be miserable for the first week the album come out. And then I call you again like “What’s up, bro?” Win, lose, or draw. Because I don’t know what success is, but it’s not in the form of record sales right now. But we’ll find out. Maybe we’ll know what success means when that motherfucker come out.
Culture VI: I hear that. And like I said man, it’s never personal. I can’t root against you, because I don’t root against any artist. Anybody who does hip hop for a living, for a hobby, as a passion, on the side, I root for them to make good music and do what they feel.
Wale: Of course you root for them! Because everyone’s an A&R to the world’s label. And I’ll say this. I have a WHOLE lot of talented people in one room right now and we are trying to find a GAMILLION ways to make another BMF. I’ma holla at you when we done making this record that sounds like EVERYTHING on Self Made so you can tell me I lost my creativity. My publicist keeps calling, telling me this a bad idea. Somebody snitched on me. I want you to keep everything, and do whatever you want with it. I appreciate your time, brother.