Wale: Respect First, Then Money, Basic Ish…
Wale’s new mixtape may be titled The Mixtape About Nothing, but the same cannot be said about the emcee himself. Wale’s got a plan, which has its foundation in gaining respect, and giving fans easy access to the music. So far, it seems to be working. The D.C. emcee was handpicked by the modern day Midas, Mark Ronson, for a spot on his world tour, and later a roster position on the producer’s Allido Records.
With his mixtape completed, Wale is hard at work on his upcoming album. We were able to snag a couple minutes of his time to speak about Black Thought, The Mixtape About Nothing, and a new face for Interscope Records…Check it out…
RubyHornet: I understand that Black Thought is a big influence on you. Can you briefly tells us when you first discovered The Roots, and what you felt at that moment? What about Black Thought grabbed you?
Wale: [Black Thought’s] rough control was amazing, the delivery was amazing. Being that I’m not as hip to Kane as people older than me, he is like the Kane to me. What Kane was to Black Thought, Black thought is to me.
RubyHornet: You recently joined Interscope records with Mark Ronson and Allido. When someone thinks of Interscope, Dr. Dre, Eminem, 50 Cent come to mind quickly, as that group of artists came out together and really established themselves as the brand. It seems that this moment in time is welcoming a changing of the guard so to speak with a fresh new crop of artists, with you being among that crop. How do you feel about joining Interscope? Do you think that you and Mark can help usher in a new course for Interscope?
Wale: Yes, Interscope is the best label out there right now. And through Allido, who have already established themselves as the ‘new guard,’ I think we can bring a new sound to Interscope.
RubyHornet: In “The Perfect Plan” you say, ‘I don’t give a damn about grands, my mind is on the Grammy.” That line stuck out to me because a lot of artists say the opposite, and that they will measure skill and success through sales, but you take a different approach. Some say that success is doing what you love, whatever that is. How do you see success?
Wale: Success to me is having respect; respect is more important to me than money or awards.
RubyHornet: You end that verse by saying, ‘you say the art’s dying, nah, brother buy an album.” In the second verse you say, “He’ll download that Cause he’s scared to do what Soulja Boy fans are prepared to do, what the B5 fans get their mother to do, and them cowboy country singers gonna forever recruit…’ And it’s clear you’re talking about actually buying albums. Why is it that the same Hip Hop fans that complain the art is dying are the same ones downloading everything, I know it’s not just cause they’re broke.
Wale: Maybe because of the internet, and how easy it has become to release music on the web. Artists aren’t being as meticulous about what they are putting out there.
RubyHornet: Where does the Seinfeld reference come into play with the mixtape? Were you a fan of the show?
Wale: Yea, I am a big fan of the show, and I wanted to do something creative. There is a lot of dialogue in the show that influences me.
RubyHornet: Lastly, do you feel your music has grown since working with Mark Ronson? How has he influenced your work in and out of the booth, if at all?
Wale: Outside the booth being on Allido and touring with Mark this past summer has introduced me to the international market and taught me how the business works in general. Just having them as my team allows me to have constant eyes and ears and somebody to always throw ideas off of….and work the Interscope building of course…Inside the booth, right now I’m working with other producers getting the album sound together…Mark and I start working together soon…gonna be classic.
RubyHornet: Tell people when they can expect the mixtape etc…
Wale: My mixtape is out May 30th, my album will be out top of ‘09, check for the new Daniel Merriweather and Rhymefest albums…
Want more Wale? Check out these other Wale-related posts on RubyHornet.com.
The Mixtape About Nothing is available May 30th only at Elitaste.com