You Wanted Another Kanye? Wale Proves He's His Own Dude at LIV December 15

Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Miami and help keep the future of New Times free.

In the run-up to November 2009's release of his debut disc Attention Deficit, D.C. rapper Wale floated into pop consciousness on a thick, fast-moving cloud of accumulated hype.

After hooking up with master trend-caller Mark Ronson in 2006 and then signing a million-dollar deal with Interscope Records in 2008, the hip-hop seers (read: hyperbolic bloggers) seemed to think they'd found a savior.

Or at least the next Kanye West.

For Wale, the timing couldn't have been better. In fact, he was fronting the house band at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards when Kanye crashed the stage, ambushed Taylor Swift, and uttered those four infamous words: "Imma Let You Finish."

In that moment, the throne was vacant and Wale was only a few steps from snatching it up. But right away, he made a fatal move, coming to West's defense and telling the already pissed-off crowd: "You can't blame a man for speaking his mind." He was booed, loudly. The omens were out.

And ultimately, Attention Deficit fell short. The album never climbed any higher than 21 on the Billboard 200. It scored hesitant thumbs up from Pitchfork and XXL. And the pop audience basically shrugged. The worst part: The 26 year old seemed to be running in place, chasing the hype.

So maybe he wasn't the next Kanye. He's just Wale. Isn't that enough?

Wale with Contra, Ross One, and Jessica Who? as part of Dirty Hairy. Wednesday, December 15. LIV, 441 Collins Ave., Miami Beach. Doors open at 11 p.m. Ages 21 and up. Call 305-674-4680 or visit livnightclub.com.

Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Miami.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Miami.