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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Hampton U chapter.

More than a poet, more than a rapper in the game of hip-hop, but an influential lyricist straight from the DMV, a Washington, D.C. native, Wale is the underdog killing hip-hop with his own flavor. He is unlike the common rappers of today, who speak on drugs, gang violence, and other demeaning realms. Wale is a conscious black man comfortable in expressing his blackness and the realities of the world as it applies to all people, but specifically the black community through his raps. Wale is considered an underrated rapper of his time because his musical content is not yet understood by some audiences in this generation. However, he is known to be a well-versed artist, rapping about love, the turmoil in his own life as a black man, and the party life. He has a few soulful tracks with samples from old school R&B artists, and he always pays homage to his DMV origins. 

Wale’s 2015 album, The Album About Nothing, was an in-depth look into the mind and soul of Wale, all while creatively incorporating the Seinfield theme in this album, from the appearance on the cover to the voice of Jerry Seinfield on every track, which carried significance to the songs itself. One specific song, The Pessimist, featuring J.Cole, a lyrical rapper, acknowledges the toxins and demons the black community faces, especially trying to live the white ‘American Dream.’ Some would say that lyricists like Wale create a peace of mind because there is a sense of understanding and relation to the real-world outside of the physicalities of life.

Fast-forward 2020, Wale’s sixth album, Wow… That’s Crazy, was released on October 11, 2019. Recently, Wale had the opportunity to perform a set on NPR’s “Tiny Desk Concert,” in his hometown of Washington, D.C. His setlist was a compilation of his old and new songs, which included:

  • “ Lotus Flower Bomb”

  • “LoveHate Thing”

  • “CC White”

  • “Sexy Lady” ( GoGo musical song, not one of his pieces)

  • “Sue Me”

  • “On Chill”

According to NPR, he created his setlist by beginning with his first hit record and ends with his latest hit record, while paying homage to GoGo music, a popular D.C. composition of music. Overall, Wale’s musical career has always been for the people. Despite his highs and lows, he made sure to express himself to his audience to have genuine feel-good music through his lyrical, stylistic raps. Wale is one of the many to influence the black community with his meaningful messages for all types of vibes.


Shekinah Banks

Hampton U '22

My name is Shekinah Banks and I attend Hampton University. I am a second-year English major with a concentration in Creative Writing from Prince Georges' County Maryland. Becoming a criminal prosecutor is my dream alongside possibly starting my own YouTube channel.
Jordyn Edwards is a graduating senior at the illustrious Hampton University studying strategic communications with an emphasis in liberal studies. Jordyn creates for others while being deeply motivated for her passion of storytelling and helping women find their voices.