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Olubo Waleed Victor Folarin (born November 21, 1984), better known by his stage name Wale ( ), is a Nigerian-American hip hop artist. He rose to prominence in 2006, when his song "Dig Dug (Shake It)" became popular in Washington, D.C.marker Wale has released five widely recognized mixtapes. His first full length album, Attention Deficit, was released on November 10, 2009.


Wale was born in Washington, DC to parents who immigrated from Nigeriamarker in 1979. He graduated from Quince Orchard High School in Gaithersburg in 2001 and moved to Largo, Marylandmarker in 2003. Wale attended Robert Morris College and Virginia State University on football scholarships, then transferred to Bowie State Universitymarker but dropped out.


Early career

"Rhyme of the Century" was Wale's first-ever song played on local radio. He was featured in the "Unsigned Hype" column of The Source. Wale signed to the young local label Studio 43 in 2006. "Dig Dug (Shake It)" became popular in Washington, D.C.marker, Marylandmarker and Virginiamarker. The song became the most requested song by a local artist in D.C. radio history and Wale was the first local artist to get any BDS spins since DJ Kool in the early 1990s. The song was included in Wale's first mixtape, Paint a Picture.

In July 2006, Wale hired Daniel Weisman, a former club DJ and promoter, as his manager. In September 2006, after dropping another go-go influenced single, "Breakdown", sampled from Huck-a-Bucks "Sexy Girl", and a mention in The Washington Post, Wale released his first non-go-go original single, "Uptown Roamers." On September 14, 2006, "Uptown Roamers" debuted on XM Radio Channel 66 and was played twice in one day. Both "Breakdown" and "Uptown Roamers" were on Wale's second mixtape, Hate Is the New Love. Wale's song "Breakdown," was featured on the video game Madden NFL 2009.

In early December 2006, Wale won the award for "D.C. Metro Breakthrough Artist of the Year" at WKYS' Go-Go Awards . On December 15, The Fader magazine associate editor Nick "Catchdubs" Barat visited Wale for an interview and photo shoot which appeared in the March 2007 issue of The Fader.


In January 2007, Wale released a new single to radio called "Good Girls" produced by Gerard Thomas and Demario Bridges for TeamMusicGroup. Daniel Weisman gave the song to Mark Ronson and on February 23, 2007, Ronson began playing the song on his East Village Radio show . A week later, at Ronson's studio, Wale recorded a freestyle for Ronson and in exchange, Ronson put Wale on an unreleased remix of Lily Allen's "Smile" which appeared on a number of music blogs around the world on March 13, 2007 . In April 2007, Ronson asked Wale to join him on a UK tour to promote the release of his newest album. In June 2007, Wale signed to a production deal with Ronson's Allido Records.

Wale released his third mixtape, 100 Miles & Running, on July 11, 2007 as a free download on his Myspace page. To date, the mixtape has been downloaded over 75,000 times. This mixtape includes features from Mark Ronson, Daniel Merriweather, Amy Winehouse, and Lily Allen. It was released on the same day as his performance at the Highline Ballroom, in Manhattan. The Highline show was to promote the US release of Mark Ronson's album and included performances by Mark Ronson, Wale, Saigon, and Daniel Merriweather. Jay-Z, Beyonce, Kanye West, Maroon 5, Clive Davis, Eve and Danny Masterson were all in attendance. There, Wale was interviewed by MTV News correspondent J.D. Tuminski for his first national TV feature, which was released on August 16, 2007.

Wale performed "W.A.L.E.D.A.N.C.E.", from his 100 Miles mixtape, at the 2007 MTV Video Music Awards in Las Vegas, Nevada..

The Washington Post profiled Wale on the front page of the Sunday Style section in the October 21st, 2007 edition. Wale is featured on the cover of URB's 150th issue along with French electro group, Justice.


In March Wale signed a joint venture deal with Mark Ronson's Allido Records and Interscope, joining Rhymefest and Daniel Merriweather as Allido artists.

On May 30, 2008, Wale released his 4th mixtapeThe Mixtape About Nothing, for free through and in collaboration with the streetwear brands Commonwealth and 10 Deep. 10 Deep also released the "Serenity Now" tee in collaboration with Wale's release of this mixtape. Everyone who purchased the "Serenity Now" tee also received a hard copy of The Mixtape About Nothing. The majority of the mixtape was produced by DC's Best Kept Secret.

In the June issue of the German Hip-Hop magazine JUICE Wale announced that his upcoming debut-album will feature production credits from Mark Ronson, Kanye West, Just Blaze, 9th Wonder and the French electronic music duo Justice.In the June/July 2008 issue of Giant Magazine, Wale announced he is making a new mixtape called Back to the Feature, which will be produced by 9th Wonder.

In a recent interview with Washington Post's Express, Wale announced that he was recording a song with Chrisette Michele called "Shades" for his upcoming album, which discusses inter-black racism. Wale also said that similar content found in The Mixtape About Nothing will be on the album.

In a Elitaste interview, Young Chris said about Wale, "We’re ready to do a mixtape together; we ain’t got the name nor the DJ yet, but we’ve had some good talks and we’ll get that mixtape out." His friendship with Young Chris also has led to Wale wearing the Roc-A-Fella chain as worn by Jay-Z's Roc-A-Fella Records

Wale stopped into Travis Barker’s studio in August 2008 to rap a verse for Travis’ solo album, Travis then performed live drums on a Wale album cut, “G Told Me” produced by Sean C & LV (”Roc Boys”).

Wale also appeared on Interscope label mate DJ Greg Street's single "Dope Boys" which samples Hip Hop classic T.R.O.Y. alongside Lupe Fiasco and Kardinal Offishall. He will also appear in the video with Alex Schild.


On June 19, 2009, Wale released his fifth mixtape, Back to the Feature, on which eleven of the tracks were produced by 9th Wonder, with contributions also coming from Mark Ronson and others. The album's title, a play off the name of the movie Back to the Future, referred to the fact that a lengthy list of rappers joined Wale on the songs, including K'naan, Talib Kweli, Joell Ortiz, Beanie Sigel and Bun B. The mixtape received several positive reviews, although at least one critic commented that it represented neither "a step forward or back [for the artist] so much as shouting-in-place."

Wale is featured in "Change" a song by the Australian singer/songwriter Daniel Merriweather. It was written by Merriweather and Andrew Wyatt and produced by Jayceon Dolinh/ Mark Ronson. It was released on January 30, 2009 in the United States and Canada, and February 2, 2009 in the UK (where the song peaked at no.8).The song is included on Merriweather's album Love and War. The "Change" music video was directed by Elliot Jokelson.

On September 13th, Wale, alongside the DC-based musicians of UCB, served as the official house band for the 2009 MTV VMAs. They performed between award presentations and before and after commercial breaks the entire night. The house band also performed with various musical guests throughout the night.

On November 10th Wale released his first studio album, Attention Deficit, to primarily positive reception.

In early November, 2009, an unreleased single titled "Letter" with Wale featuring John Mayer was made available to download through the infamous Biggy Jiggy Mixtapes.

Wale is a big supporter of the Washington Redskins of the National Football League. It is rumored that he has a tattoo of Washington Redskins Tight End Chris Cooley on his calf.


Studio albums

Year Album Chart positions Sales and certifications
U.S. U.S. R&B U.S. Rap
2009 Attention Deficit 21 3 2
  • U.S. sales: 38,000

Solo singles

Year Song Chart positions Album
U.S. U.S. R&B U.S. Rap UK CAN
2007 "Nike Boots" Non-album single
2009 "Chillin" (featuring Lady Gaga) 99 12 73 Attention Deficit
"World Tour" (featuring Jazmine Sullivan)
"Pretty Girls" (featuring Gucci Mane)


Guest appearances

  • 2008: "Rising Up" The Roots featuring Chrisette Michelle & Wale (Rising Down)
  • 2008: "Lyrically Inclined" Skyzoo featuring Wale
  • 2008: "Ain't Heard It from Me" Rhymefest featuring Wale ("El Che")
  • 2008: "Is There Any Love?" Kid Cudi featuring Wale (A Kid Named Cudi)
  • 2008: "Welcome to DC (Remix)" Mambo Sauce featuring Wale, Tabi Bonney & Big G
  • 2008: "Buzzin' (DJ Skeet Skeet & Cory Nitta Remix)" Shwayze featuring Wale
  • 2008: "Fuck the Industry (Remix)" Solange featuring Wale
  • 2008: "Large" Young Chris featuring Wale
  • 2008: "Dope Boys (Remix)" DJ Greg Street featuring Lupe Fiasco, Wale, & Kardinal Offishall (Certified)
  • 2008: "Warwick Avenue (Remix)" Duffy featuring Wale
  • 2009: "Look up at the Stars" Kid Cudi featuring Wale (That Kid from Cleveland)
  • 2008: "Change" Daniel Merriweather featuring Wale
  • 2008: "Will I Stay (Remix)" Colin Munroe featuring Wale and Dallas Austin
  • 2008: "Boyz (Remix)" M.I.A. featuring Wale
  • 2009: "Thats Not My Name (Remix)" The Ting Tings featuring Wale
  • 2009: "2009 MTV Video Music Awards"
  • 2009: "2009 BET Hip Hop Awards"
  • 2009: "Don't Upset the Rhythm (Go Baby Go) Remix" The Noisettes featuring Wale, & Estelle
  • 2009: "Letter" Wale featuring John Mayer [produced by Mark Ronson]
  • 2009: "Fragile" (Remix) Chrisette Michelle featuring Wale
  • 2009: "Pat Your Weave" UCB featuring Wale
  • 2009: "See Me Now" MPHO featuring Wale
  • 2009: "Ill Society vol. 1 - Unity (promotional mixtape featuring Wale)


  • 2006: "Uptown Roamers" (Hate Is the New Love)
  • 2007: "DC's Wale in L.A." – Current TV video produced by Danny Lee.
  • 2008: "W.A.L.E.D.A.N.C.E." (100 Miles & Running)
  • 2008: "The Artistic Integrity" (The Mixtape About Nothing)
  • 2008: "Nike Boots" (single)
  • 2009: "Chillin'" (Attention: Deficit)
  • 2009: "Family Affair" (Inside A Change Soundtrack)
  • 2009: "Pat Your Weave" UCB featuring Wale


  1. Nightlife Agenda
  2. Go-Go Shines for a Night as District Luminaries Honor Its Stars –
  3. The FADER – Hip Bone
  4. East Village Radio
  5. Blog
  6. Hip Hop News Audio, News, Videos, Albums, Ringtones, Lyrics, Urban Wear
  7. Newcomer Wale's Secret Weapon: Go-Go Music | Video | Mark Ronson Protege Wale: 'My Time Is Coming' | MTV
  8. Mark Ronson – "D.A.N.C.E. (Live)" | Video | 2007 VMA: The Entire 2007 MTV Video Music Awards On-Demand | MTV
  10. Wale releases Seinfeld-themed mixtape? Get out!
  11. Reference to Wale's New Mixtape "Back to the Feature"
  12. EXPRESS feature on Wale
  13. Reference to Wale/Young Chris Mixtape
  15. "Wale Debut Albm Sneak Peek Wale X Travis Barker"
  21. Video of Change by Daniel Merriweather featuring Wale

External links

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