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.