Born Olubowale Victor Akintimehin, Wale is an American rapper, hailing from Washington D.C. As a rapper, Wale has an impressive portfolio. Since his debut, Wale has produced eight mixtapes including a No. 1 album. Wale’s music style can be described as being percussion-driven and paying homage to disco. The rapper has featured in many of the today’s top rappers songs including the like of Rick Ross and Meek Mill. Besides his impressive career, Wale has a unique background. He is not just another run of the mill rapper. Keep reading to discover rapper Wale’s background.
As mentioned before, the name Wale is not this rappers original birth name. His real name is Olubowale Victor Akintimehin. If you think this name sounds exotic, it is because Wale is indeed exotic. The rapper has roots in Southwestern Nigeria, where his parents belong to the Yoruba ethnic group. Wale was born in Washington D.C on September 21st, 1984. Before relocating to the United States in 1979, Wale’s parents lived in Austria.
Growing up in Washington D.C Wale’s family first settled down in Northwest Washington D.C. When he was ten years old, his family relocated to Montgomery County in Maryland. Wale though, was predominantly raised in the suburbs of Washington D.C.
Wale attended the Quince Orchard High School in Gaithersburg, Maryland, where he was in his school’s football team. He graduated high school in 2002. Following his graduation, the rapper attended both the Robert Morris College and Virginia State University on college scholarships. He is still a die-hard football fan and supports the Washington Redskins. In fact, rumor has it that he has a tattoo of tight end Chris Cooley. Wale did not stay in Virginia State.
He eventually ended up in Bowie State. Preferring to focus on a career in music, Wale did not complete college.
It was not long before Wale’s talent was discovered by a local DJ. In 2003 Wale had his airplay with the song “Rhyme of the Century.” Soon after, Source Magazine included him in its Unsigned Hype Column.
The rapper continued honing his skilling, and in 2006 he signed with Studio 43. With this outfit, the rapper’s popularity grew in Washington D.C./Maryland and Virginia. He soon caught the attention of producer and DJ Mark Ronson, known for working with the likes of Christina Aguilera and Amy Winehouse. Ronson signed him to his imprint Allido and together they released the mixtape 100 Miles and Running. The mixtape was positively received and was critically acclaimed by institutions such as the New York Times and XXL Magazine.
Soon after the mixtape’s release, top records were clamoring to sign Wale. He received offers from top records such as Def Jam, Epic and Atlantic Records. Wale chose to sign with Interscope records in 2008. Following this Wale released several high-level singles including “Chilling” whose hook was performed by Lady Gaga and “Pretty Girls” which featured Gucci Mane. The singles also featured in his album Attention deficit which was positioned at 21 in the Billboard 200. Wale also featured in Waka Flocka Flame’s multiple-platinum “No Hands.”
Following a deal with Rick Ross’s Maybach Music Group Wale featured prominently in the in MMG’s compilation called Self Made Volume 1. It was from this compilation that Wale received his first gold-certified single. While still in MMG, Wale produced the album Ambition which ascended to second place in the Billboard 200. On collabo (Miguel), from the album got the first position in the Billboards hip-hop/RnB charts. The song was also nominated for a Grammy Award under the Best Rap Song category. Wale was also featured in the Self Made’s second volume where he appeared individually and featured in tracks such as “Bag of Money” and “Diced Pineapples.”
Wale has also recorded for the Fast and Furious Franchise, having been one of the featured artists in the movie-franchises “Ride Out” track. From 2015 onwards, the rapper has released a number one album called The Album about Nothing, “My PYT” which featured in the top 20 RnB/hip-hop single. In 2017 he released the album Shine which was critically acclaimed. Last year Wale released the single “Staying Power”.
Other Interesting Facts
Apart from having a successful music career, Wale has had other successful venture. Wale has ventured into the Ski-gear industry, partnering with Akomplice to produce Wale x Akomplice ski suit and mask. In 2010, Wale did a charity concert for victims of the Haiti earthquake.