Wale is often considered controversial or temperamental, but one thing can't be denied: after being roundly counted out, the rapper mounted one of the most unlikely comebacks in hip-hop history, and is now one the few major commercially-successful rappers in an era where most artists struggle to chart. He started off a promising rookie; his 2008 Mixtape About Nothing received critical acclaim; he was selected as one of XXL's innaugural top freshman the year later. And he dropped a major-label record before peers like Drake and Kid Cudi. Unfortunately, it sold disappointingly and Interscope dropped him shortly thereafter. He continued to push forward, though, and ultimately managed to attract the attention of Rick Ross, who signed the burgeoning success story to his MMG label.
His latest album, The Gifted, is likely to sell significant numbers—coming, as it does, on the back of some of the biggest singles of his career. "Bad" even received a second push, with Rihanna replacing Tiara Thomas (who "Bad" belonged to initially) on the hook. His latest single, "LoveHate Thing," features the young singer Sam Dew, and with its Marvin Gaye sample imitation of a Marvin Gaye sample, looks like another surefire hit.
But as much as we know about Wale, there are still some facts that lurk below the surface. We've dug into some of his interviews and discovered just how much we really didn't know about the rapper.
These are 20 Things You Didn't Know About Wale.