Monday, June 16, 2008

Wale Interview!! DMV Still Moving!

Interview - Wale Home » Interviews » Interview-Wale

It's Wale's World
Artist: Wale
Interviewer: Tommy Faone

It’s Wale’s World

Interviewed by Tommy Faone 09-18-07 What up Wale, how you living?

Wale: Blessed..God is good. Been traveling a lot; touring. You have often been coined "The Ambassador of Rap for the Capitol" where did that originate?

Wale: That came because people know me in all four parts of the city as well as in VA and MD, so when I do my music I do the best I can to shed light on all parts and share the plight of all people within the metro area. I am VERY comfortable in my own skin and I don’t have to pretend to be anything more then what God made me. I’ve lived in DC and MD for half of my life, respectively, and I can relate to the very minimal differences in the different environments Up till now the biggest thing musically to come out of DC is Chuck Brown and the GO-GO movement back in late 70’s and early 80’s. Seems like you have incorporated some of the staples of go-go music in what you do with things like “Call and Response” and “Swing Rhythm”. What can you attribute to Go-Go in your music?

Wale: It’s old school go-go mixed with new school swag and flow. I’m a very eclectic dude like that. To me, go-go is the most potent genre of black music—just the rawness of it—so I feel like I embody that rawness in my delivery and that’s why I chose to mix the two genres. Back in 2006 you released a track called “Dig Dug” paying homage Ronald "Dig Dug" Dixon, a former Go Go legend. I understand there were problems with the clearance samples when it started to show up on the radio play lists when it caught on, what ever happened with that?

Wale: Me and the Northeast Groovers are real cool now. It was just a communication problem. I love those dudes though. Their rapper (Chris aka Ra Ra) is a real good dude and probably the most talented lead mic in the history of go-go! We talked a bit a couple of months ago and it was nothing but love. Look for me to do another joint with Ra down the line. So you’re on Tour with Mark Ronson now overseas? What kind of experience has that been? And how has the response been to you in different cities? And when can we expect to see a US tour?

Wale: It’s been incredible. Sold out shows everytime. We’ve done venues as small as 800 people and as many as 20,000. We have one coming up that is 500,000. The response has been amazing. I’m a new artist to most of the people there so I am always finding new ways to grab them every time I hit the stage. I swear though, at one show in Manchester, I saw six fans mouthing the words to “Good Girls.” I will be touring Europe with Mark until the end of the summer and then we have a US tour through October or November. I will get my solo tour on after that; maybe even BEFORE and AFTER the album drops; just to build the buzz. I’ll probably tour with a band to so I can actually give people a reason to pay $20 and give them a $100 show. But yeah, by 3rd quarter 2008, I hope to have covered the globe both with and without Mark. You recently dropped a mixtape entitled “100 Miles and Running” in July. You put it out for free and are clocking over 20,000 downloads now. What prompted that decision?

Wale: I wanted to do something different and have the widest reach possible. I only printed up 1,000 physical copies for select stores in LA, NYC, DC and Boston. By making it a free download, I am meeting the demand every time someone downloads it. I don't have to deal with shipping or printing costs. I don't have to estimate how many I'm going to need. It falls into the "long tail" philosophy. Plus, my hope is that if I give away so much great music until my album drops, people are going to be compelled to go out and buy my album, come see my show and pick up my Stussy collaboration. As for the mixtape itself, I wanted people to react like, "Wow." It's very lyrical. Put it this way: people are going to have to put their index finger on the rewind button A LOT; even if you think you understand a line, you may not "get" it on first listen. Fuck that easy listening shit, I'm gonna make you work. You have found yourself on two big remixes this year with imports Lily Allen and Amy Winehouse via Mark Ronson, so who is your ideal collaboration with?

Wale: Ideal...hmm..Camp Lo, Mr Carter (jay), Rick Rubin and Andre 3000 Gotta tell you I am a big fan of the Nike Air Force 25th Anniversary mixtape track you did. So tell me, what is your all time favorite pair of sneakers?

Wale: Favorite pair: Jordan concord XI's “patent leather elevens when Iverson was clockin for Coach John Thompson” (from one of my songs). Black Jordan IIIs. Supreme Dunk highs (size 9…get at me). Garnett white and blues. There’s so many, but I have most of my grail shoes. Any last words or shout outs?

Wale: Shout out to my man XO (real hiphop ish..upt 4 life)...ken star (most underated rapper in dc)…odisee ...emp...oy boys ..lady V..the whole upt..kdy rittenhouse 640..35 double ..landover ..glenarden..cap heights park...sneakaman dan…jaffi joe…rique bobboy…dj alizay…my manager Mr. Weisman…and just everybody who holds me down..i love my people in dc md and va..

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