Wale Reflects on New Album’s Success, His Market Position & Solange

Even with the rave reviews for his debut album Attention Deficit, Washington D.C. emcee Wale is still hungry to make a bigger impact on mainstream Hip-Hop.

In a recent interview with honeymag.com, Wale explained that despite Attention Deficit being released on Interscope, his major label understood his success would be gradually built from the bottom up and not reflected in huge first week numbers.

“This is my biography. It’s honest. Raw emotion. It’s close to me,” Wale detailed. “That’s why part of me will be a little offended if it doesn’t get heard. I don’t want people to take lack of sales as me taking a hit. This is something different. My label is letting me put out an album with a single that released seven months ago. We’re not going for first week sales. We only shipping out 30,000 of them. We’re going for that grind. We’re showing people that you can build a fanbase the old fashioned way.”

Even with those appreciative words to his label, Wale is aware that all major labels require major returns. A considerable amount of mainstream albums are marketed to females, a reality the D.C. native believes has stifled creativity and caused that audience to miss out on his unique sound and perspective.

“I think people try too hard to market to females. They insult their intelligence. I feel like there are going to be a lot of females who miss out on some great music on my album just because I wasn’t a huge radio artist,” Wale added.

Although he’s received cosigns from superstar Jay-Z and collaborated with established veterans like Bun B, Wale still feels his mainstream acceptance has yet to reach the impact of his fellow freshman standouts Kid Cudi and Drake.

Still, he remains proud that he’s persevered without direct superstar assistance.

“I got work to do before I even catch up to Cudi and Drake. They’ve progressed a little bit quicker than I have,” he confessed. “I worked twice as hard because I wasn’t fortunate enough to be under a successful rapper to inherit some of their fan base. I had to work for it all and my city had to hold me down.”

As with many celebrities, fans have now begun to focus on Wale’s personal life. For the past several months, fans have speculated regarding his alleged relationship with Solange Knowles.

On the issue, the young emcee was surprisingly candid regarding his feelings for her.

“I do love her. We’re friends. She’s amazing. She’s a good person,” he reflected. “Any single mother contributing to society the way she does — I got a lot of love for them. She’s got to do a lot on her own and raise a young black man in this day and age so my hat goes off to her. She’s definitely an anomaly. And the way she can do that and manage to do the same things that I complain about having to do.”

Wale’s Attention Deficit is available in stores now.