Wale is an American based Nigerian artiste. The rapper rose to prominence, thanks to the uniqueness of his music, which he has nurtured over the years. He has collaborated with other artists such as J. Cole, Lupe Fiasco, Rick Ross, Meek Mill, Olamide, and Wizkid.
He has so far dropped six studio albums, bagging numerous nominations and awards in the process. He won the Soul Train Awards for Best Hip Hop Song of the Year; this was in 2013 and for his song “Bad,” which featured Tiara Thomas. Earlier in 2010, he won the Best International Artist accolade of the Nigerian Entertainments Awards. The following year, he bagged the Best Club Banger of the BET Hip Hop Awards and another BET Awards for Best Collaboration in 2012.
The Ethnicity and Early Life of The Rap Artist
Professionally known as Wale, the Chillin rapper was born as Olubowale Victor Akintimehin on September 21, 1984. He was raised in a middle-class family, with both his parents being Nigerians. Nevertheless, before he was born, his parents moved from Austria, where they were to the United States.
It is known that his parents were both originally from the Yoruba ethnic group of southwestern Nigeria. The Yoruba people inhabit western Africa and are mostly found in Nigeria, Benin, and Togo. Wale is not the only child of his parents as he has a brother named Alvin Akintimehin.
Growing up, he attended Quince Orchard High School in Gaithersburg, Maryland, and later moved to Largo, Maryland in Prince George’s County. His love and skills for football earned him scholarships at Robert Morris University and Virginia State University on football scholarships. Later on, he transferred to Bowie State University. Due to certain academic reasons, Wale did not conclude his University education. He left in 2012. Nonetheless, he was determined to make it to the top with or without a degree.
Wale’s Unique Musical Style Facilitated His Fast Rise To Stardom
The rapper was able to get a little attention and some airplay with his first single, “Rhyme of the Century.” The song was released when he was only 20, and it was in 2014. From this, he was able to keep building, and in 2005, thanks to the considerable success of his first single, he got the opportunity to appear in The Source magazine spotlight column.
The Washington DC rap artiste rose quickly to stardom courtesy of his unique style. Wale’s style was largely influenced by the popular Washington go-go style of music. The super-talented international star has popularized the regional genre while effectively fusing it with modern hip-hop. This came with the release of his well-received “Paint a Picture” mixtape.
Wale’s 2006 hit single, “Dig Dug (Shake It)” was the success that led him to be signed by Allido records in 2007. In 2009, he released his debut album, Attention Deficit. The album was successful as it sold over 28,000 copies in its first week of release, even though there were reports that not many copies were shipped. His next Album was Ambition, and it was released under the Maybach Music Group, which he was signed to at the time. This was more successful than the first album as it sold 162,600 copies in the first week of its release. He went on to release a mixtape, Folarin, in 2012. His next albums are The Gifted (2013), The Album About Nothing (2015), Shine (2017), and Wow… That’s Crazy (2019).
Wrestling Has Also Influenced His Songs a Great Deal
With subsequent successes and the raw show of quality talent, Wale became a hot cake for record labels such as Def Jams and Interscope, amongst others. Wale was later signed by Interscope for $1.3 million, making it one of the highest any artist has ever been signed for.
Wale is without a doubt the most prominent rapper from Washington DC. He has been nominated for a lot of awards, including the Grammy for his Lotus Flower Bomb, which was nominated for Best Rap Song in 2013. He has also been nominated for MTV Video Music Awards and African Muzik Magazine Awards.
In all of these, it has been observed that the rapper has a thing for making wrestling references on his songs. This has come to be some kind of trademark for his music and has popularized him among wrestling fans. A big fan of wrestling, he has made several appearances on WWE, where he hosts his annual WaleMania during WrestleMania weekend.
Wale’s Earning Power Reflects His Growth As a Musician
In 2011 when he joined the Maybach Music record label, he was signed for $1 million. Around that time, reports have it that he is paid $25,000 per show and between $700 to $2,500 for organized events and concerts. As of 2012, Forbes estimated that he earned as much as $5 million. According to the American business magazine, the rapper grossed over $20,000 per night while performing more than 75 concerts the previous years.
If anything, the foregoing shows that the rapper has come far in his career. And, it is only natural to conclude that his earning power has soared since then as he has remained relevant in the industry.
In 2013, it circulated that Wale signed a deal with Nike to model their footwear. While details of the deal are not known, it is believed it has contributed a great deal to his wealth. The rap star has also disclosed that he is involved in some businesses with a couple of athletes. Based on rough estimates, the rapper is worth at least $10 million.
The Rapper Thrives In Frugality
Wale has revealed that he is conservatively investing and spending his money. In his interview with Forbes, the entertainer explained that ambition drives him more than the money. He believes one has to be good at what one does and let that drive them to the top.
According to the rapper, he likes nice things but wouldn’t let them run his life. But then, he had to let something drive him. So, the idea for the rap star is to get to the utmost heights of his career and making more money while at it. That regardless, Wale’s net worth may not be perceived from his looks and accessories.
The musician is judicious and frugal with his money. He says it is not his style to buy and wear ‘blings’ for the praises of the public. From his early performing days as a local American entertainer, the big bucks were not exactly the motive. Wale wanted his voice to be heard and his acts perfected. He desires to make a mark in the global entertainment industry.
He’s a Loving Father to His Daughter
Zyla Moon Oluwakemi was born in 2016 to Wale and his former girlfriend, Chloe Alexis, in a New York City hospital. Wale had a Friday night concert in Brooklyn, which he called off after he learned that he had become a father. The rapper has never ceased being all over her daughter since she was born, even though he is no longer together with her mother.
Details of his relationship with Chloe are hard to come by, but based on what the rapper once said, they lost the connection that made them lovers, and it led to their breakup. Nonetheless, Chloe has remained a part of his life as they co-parent Zyla. More than that, Wale thinks highly of Chloe. There was a time he described her as the “most beautiful and …inspirational baby mothers of all time,” promising to always hold her as a part of his life for the rest of his life.
Other Women The Rapper Has Dated
The American rapper has never needed to hide any aspect of his life from the public. So, his love life has been an open book for anyone who cares to read. He has been in a relationship with a few popular women. The first as far as we can tell was with Solange, the American popular singer and younger sister of Beyonce. It is believed that Solange and Wale started dating a few years after her divorce from her first husband Daniel Smith in 2007; from 2009 to 2010. It has been speculated that some of Wale’s songs like “Lotus Flower Bomb” are about Solange.
The next time the rapper was seemingly in love was in 2014 and with a lady identified as Amelia Knox. Whatever they had ended almost as soon as it started; there is nothing to tell about it. Then came Serayah, the fine singer, model, and actress known for playing Tiana Brown in the popular TV show, Empire.
It was sometime in October 2015 that it first circulated that they were an item. Although a source close to Serayah debunked the claims, insisting that the two were just friends, people have also insisted that they had something special, something more than being friends.
He Is Now In a Relationship With India Graham
A model, who has been gaining a lot of attention of late, India Graham is the love of Wale’s life at the moment. A Michigan native, India came to the limelight after she won a modeling competition with IMG Models. It emerged that the two are lovers after they were seen frolicking at an after-party.
The two wasted no time in confirming their relationship thereafter. After Wale dropped his sixth studio album in October 2019, India took to Instagram to congratulate him, proclaiming that he’s his boyfriend. In an Interview, Wale also confirmed the relationship, asserting that India has taught him how to love better and to be positive.