Alright, so full disclosure: I’ve never been the biggest Wale fan. His music has always been good, but just not my cup of tea.
If you’ve never seen Wale before, now’s the time to do it. This was by far the quickest hour and a half I’ve ever experienced from an artist. Wale breezes through the runtime with a confidence that only artists with a ten year career could have. He proves that by opening the show with his classic hit: Lotus Flower Bomb. Most artists save the best for last, knowing that the audience will be craving… no… salivating for that moment by the time the encore comes around, but Wale comes out swinging; following up his immortal hit, with another hit, “Chain Music”.
In fact the first five or so songs are a medley, an ode to long time fans who helped him reach his decade in the rap game.
Then he takes an intermission, and the real heart of the show is exposed. With brevity and clarity, Wale stops the music to talk about the black experience, the beauty of being black and his gratefulness for having majority black fans as his core.
Wale has always been known for speaking about the black diaspora, whether it be in his music or during interviews. He’s candid about showing love to his skinfolk. And for that reason alone, the sold out crowd is filled with 75% black women. A rare sight to behold.
And from there on out, he serves the crowd with love anthems and funk grooves. “My PYT”, “The Matrimony” and “BGM” play out to a sweaty crowd, who seem to be absorbing every downbeat and bass pluck like Spongebob at a wet t-shirt contest. It’s genuinely fun.
After another intermission, he hits the crowd with a 180 and performs his biggest all rap cuts. Suddenly the vibe shifts from romantic sing alongs to a rowdy rumble where the boys and the girls moshpit with equal intensity. Wale even goes as far as to invite a dude from the front row up on stage to rap a verse with him. The energy never dissipates. He never cools off and neither does the people.
The night closes out with one last Ted X Talk from Wale about black love and his appreciation for everyone who came by that night. His final words being along the lines of “love yourself, and each other… being black, we’re all we’ve got”. That’s not a direct quote, but it was the feeling. Then he vanishes backstage, off to another city.
Want to see more Wale? Click the link here for photos and videos from the “Wow… That’s Crazy” Tour