Black History Month Profile: Walé

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Olubowale Victor Akintimehin (born September 21, 1984), better known by his stage name Walé, is an American rapper from Washington, D.C. He was able to transcend his status as local sensation and become a national rap contender using go-go-inspired hip-hop as the vehicle for his clever wordplay and music. He rose to prominence in 2006, when his song “Dig Dug (Shake It)” became popular in his hometown. Wale became locally recognized and continued recording music for the regional audience. Producer Mark Ronson discovered Wale in 2006 and signed him to Allido Records in 2007. While signed to that label, Wale released several mixtapes and appeared in national media including MTV and various Black-American-focused magazines. A song called “Ridin’ in That Black Joint” was featured in the popular video game Saints Row 2’s soundtrack in 2008.

In 2008, Wale signed with Interscope Records for $1.3 million, and his debut album Attention Deficit was released in 2009 with the singles “Chillin”, “Pretty Girls”, and “World Tour”. The album, although under-shipped, received positive reviews from critics. In early 2011, Wale signed with Rick Ross’ Maybach Music Group, where members of the label released a compilation album, Self Made Vol. 1on May 23, 2011. His second studio album, Ambition was released November 1, 2011, with mixed reviews. His third studio album, The Gifted, was released on June 25, 2013, to mainly positive reviews; it debuted at number one on the Billboard 200. His second Billboard number one album The Album About Nothing was released on March 31, 2015.

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