Wale is back.
Years after releasing a proper studio album, the Washington, D.C. native took to Instagram this week to tease his much-anticipated return. On Tuesday, Wale shared a three-part carousel that included the caption, “My silence has been golden…..see you on Friday. Folarin back.” The second slide featured what appeared to be some song lyrics—"There’s no potential in a friendship/That comes with intentions”—while the third slide showed a graphic of his birth name, Olubowale.
Fast-forward to Thursday, when TMZ reported Wale had inked a deal with Def Jam Recordings. Sources told the outlet that the Shine rapper signed to the imprint “several months ago,” but kept the news under wraps as he prepared for his big return.
Joe Budden applauded the move in a recent episode of his eponymous podcast, where he praised Wale for taking some time to himself after a series of online beefs and controversies.
“I’m excited about this,” Joe said on his show. “Not because I route for him as my Virgo brother, not because he finally learned how to take a step back and go zero, dark mode, silent via social media—that’s one of the reasons a lot of you Wale haters out there dislike him. He went crazy a few times. He was able to disconnect, dis-attach, step away, and he’s been quiet. I don’t know what he’s been doing, feeling, thinking, and now I get a song. I love that for Wale. I love that for him…I’m really happy about this, Wale.”
Hours after TMZ confirmed the Def Jam news, Wale came through with “Max Julien,” marking his first lead single release under the iconic hip-hop banner.