Front Page: Wale Covering Rolling Out

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MMG rapper Wale is in search of a Hip-Hop masterpiece on the latest issue of Rolling Out magazine. In the cover story, the D.C. native talked about the failure of his first album, Rick Ross reaching out to him, his new label, what attracts him to females and much more. Below are some excerpts:

“Ambition is the desire to be better than the people who came before you. It’s your obsession to be good or great. How great is your obsession to chase your dream?”–Wale

Before the release of your first album, you built an impressive buzz for yourself. So what caused the album to fail to meet the high expectations?
I put that on myself to get back to where I need to be. We’re working. I do music for my fans and family. My fans appreciated my first album. But my label didn’t ship it for whatever reason. I re-evaluated my life and my situation and now I’m in a different place. I found out a lot of artists can’t go to a city and do a show with 2,000 people. I’m blessed to have people who appreciate what I do.

When did Rick Ross reach out to you?
The Maybach Music Group deal came about when I was a free agent. I look at Rick Ross as more than an artist. I didn’t sign to be a side kick, I want to be an artist and do what I’m capable of doing musically. Ross let’s me do that. He’s the boss at the label, but he’s not bossing me around.

So what is the biggest difference in being at MMG vs. being at Interscope?

The difference is freedom. I’m very in tune with urban culture. I felt my last situation wasn’t allowing me to grow with the urban culture. They saw a Lady Gaga opportunity and I went with it. I was a new artist and I didn’t get it. I thought I was being ignored by black America. It’s not as much money, but to connect with the people I grew up with is more important than connecting with pop fans. Even the white people who are familiar with my music deserve to hear what I’m really saying. I shouldn’t be marketed toward top 40. When I listen to my first album, you can hear who I am talking to. But I now have an opportunity to change that.

Beyond the physical, what is the most attractive thing about a woman?
I like girls who can get the intellect popping. Instead of liking me just because I rap, I like girls who can ask about where I was mentally when I thought of making a certain record. I can find a nice amount of girls who think I’m attractive or whatever, but intellect is very important. “Lotus Flower Bomb” was a record that I wanted to create a long time ago. I’m not sure if radio was ready for that at the time. That’s kind of an adult vibe. I was 23 when I was writing my first project. I was doing what I was told to do instead of doing what my heart told me to do.

Wale’s sophomore album Ambition is now available.

Source: Rolling Out

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Donovan is the CEO and Editor-In-Chief of For all general inquiries please email Donovan has a BA in Journalism & Media Studies from the prestigious Rutgers University. He's currently studying entertainment and fashion law.