Favorite song: “Notorious Thugs” f/ Bone Thugs-n-Harmony

Wale: “I was so consumed in go-go music—and a lot of other things—but I was such a hip-hop head. I just never dedicated myself to nobody. Right when I was about to start dedicating myself to Biggie, he died. And that was his last piece of work. I cherish that shit. That was a great album. I remember how I felt when I first heard ‘Mo Money Mo Problems.’ I was like, ‘Man, this is the jam. He’s really spitting on this joint.’ I remember having it on a double-CD. I stole it from somebody at school. I think it was an Asian kid in my class that had it and I got that shit from him.”