Name: Olubowale Victor Akintimehin
Birthday: September 21, 1984
Fav Dish: Chick Wings
If there were a rapper with idealistic points in his music, it would be Wale. Born as Olubowale Victor Akintimehin on September 21, 1984, Wale was raised by his Nigerian parents in the United States. His family moved Stateside through Austria in 1979, allowing him to get education in Quince Orchard High School in Gaithersburg, Maryland among others.
Wale enrolled in Robert Morris University and Virginia State University on football scholarships, then transferred to Bowie State University but dropped out. He had tried out a career in music in the latter of 2000s, recording his first song “Rhyme of the Century” and signing deal with a local label in 2006. His next song “Dig Dug (Shake It)” became the most requested song by a local artist in D.C. radio history. It was later included in his first mixtape, “Paint a Picture”.
Wale’s name started to spread around in DJ scene and reached the ear of a former club DJ, Daniel Weisman. The rapper was then represented by Weisman and released his first original single called “Uptown Roamers”. Wale made a couple more mixtapes after that. He was branded “cool, smart, up-and-coming hip-hop artist” at that time.
Relationship brought him to get to know Mark Ronson who did a remix of Lily Allen’s “Smile”. Wale supported Ronson on his U.K. Tour before signing a production deal with Ronson’s Allido Records. The Ronson association opened many doors to him including his first national TV interview with MTV in 2007.
It was in 2008 that Wale signed a venture deal with Ronson’s Allido Records and Interscope after rejecting big labels like Def Jam and Atlantic Records among others first. Under Interscope’s umbrella, Wale began recording tracks for his major label debut, “Attention Deficit”. The studio effort was released in November 2009 to mostly positive reaction. It earned the 21st spot on Billboard Hot 200 chart on the first week of sale.
However, the rapper blamed the low number of sales on the shipping. Daniel Weisman, Wale’s manager, claimed that Interscope didn’t ship enough copies of the album. Nevertheless, promotional efforts continued with national tour and one more mixtape release. Then in the second half of 2010, he started to re-release a track from one of his previous mixtapes for free-download on his own website every Thursday.
He later parted ways with Interscope and signed with Rick Ross’ Maybach Music Group. “That dude is a genius,” said Wale of the boss. “I don’t care what anybody say. That’s my brother. He’s a genius. I’ve seen him work from the business side, I’ve seen him work on the street side. People don’t know Ross, man.” He also later signed to Jay-Z’s Roc Nation for management.
With his new army, Wale began the recording of “Ambition”, his second studio album, in Atlanta, Georgia. He kicked off the tour for the album in October with opening acts such as Meek Mill, Pusha T and J. Cole. First single from the new album was called “Lotus Flower Bomb”. He also released snippet sampler of the whole album on October 27, 2011 and later held a private listening party at the Gansevoort Hotel of Chelsea New York.
The album hit the shelves on November 1, 2011, selling 162,600 copies in the first week and sitting at number two on Hot 200.
Shortly after the release of “Ambition”, Wale announced on Twitter that he had already begun working on his third album. In an interview with UpVenue in January 2012, Wale confirmed the third album and the focus would be about his growth as a person. He was featured on Maybach Music Group’s second studio album “Self Made II” and released his own mixtape “Folarin” before finally releasing the full-length titled “The Gifted” on June 25, 2013. The album became his first to debut at No. 1 on Billboard 200.
Before “The Gifted” hit the stores, Wale already announced its follow-up. Called “The Album About Nothing”, the new project was led by single “The Body” featuring Jeremih. The track was released in late 2014, a few weeks before he announced a 31-date U.S. tour entitled the “Simply Nothing Tour” to support the “Album About Nothing” which finally came out in March 2015. It debuted at No.1 on Billboard 200 in early April, becoming the rapper’s second LP to do so.