Ever since I started writing at P&P I’ve been paying more attention to comments not just on here, but in the general world of hip-hop. I always knew Wale was a controversial artist, he always seemed to attract a lot of hate for some reason but  lately I’ve been noticing what seems to me a crazy amount of negative comments towards him. I still don’t completely get it, maybe it just boils down to the simple fact that different people have different tastes.

Anyway, in an effort to somewhat defend one of my favorite artists doing it right now & standing up for all that is human, I’ve penned some words and put together a playlist of my favorite Wale songs in an attempt to show everyone exactly why I love his music. When I started looking through the 200+ Wale joints I have in my library I originally narrowed it down to 75, but I figured that was a bit much so I forced myself to cut it down to 31. Still too much? Naaaah.

Hit the cut to read my plea & listen to my favorite songs…

I think the biggest issue with Wale is that everyone wants him to be the Wale that they want. Wale is one of those artists that can walk the fine line between bangin’ out club hits, dishin’ out intelligence and pumpin’ out the jams for the ladies all while having his own original sound from his earlier days when he was more go-go inspired & underground.

People tend to like one version of Wale & only want to hear that version, so when he goes outside of what a particular fan is used to, he’s bound to draw criticism from at least one core group. He’s seen hate in all forms, from being called a sellout for teaming up with Rick Ross and losing his original sound, to going soft for the ladies or not representing his people right. Hell, one of my friends only listens to his club shit, he prefers the ignorant “I’mma make it rain” side of Wale and anything else he immediately dismisses as “wack-ass shit.”

It makes sense though, the legendary Bun B broke it down best not too long ago when he explained that “at the end of the day, we all want the thing we love to be as real and pure as the day we fell in love with it.” But it’s like Wale said on “The Break Up Song,” “…gotta get better with time, relationships should never unwind…”

Me? I’m a Wale stan. I embrace all sides of him and if you listen close enough, that’s how he prefers it. Let the man be who he wants to be when he wants to be. We’re all guilty of the contradicting lifestyle at some point in time, one night we might feel like staying in for dinner & a movie while the next we just wanna pop bottles all night in the club.

Sure, sometimes it may seem like Wale is trying too hard to fit in or the sound he chooses doesn’t seem to be genuine, but we all make mistakes sometimes. Live & learn, forget & forgive. As one brave fictional girl once said, “Life’s about a hell of a lot more than being happy. It’s about feeling the full range of stuff: happiness, sadness, anger, grief, hate. If you try to shut one of those off, you shut them all off … I want to see it all, know it all, and understand it all.”

So the next time you get all pissed off at Wale for hoping on a track with Gucci, Shawty Lo, Rick Ross or spitting a certain line, just think back to what made you love him in the first place and let the man breathe. Or just stop complaining, work up some motivation & press next on the playlist. Really though, I coulda wrote close to the same words about hip-hop in general. Oh well, enjoy the music…


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