On New Year’s Day, DC-native and rap superstar Wale hosted his 5th annual Wale & Friends Concert at the Filmore in Silver Spring, MD. Special guests included fellow Maybach labelmate and affiliate Fat Trel and the Slutty Boyz, and DC’s very own Chaz French, who seemed to be a crowd favorite among the concert’s opening acts.
A highlight of the night was former frontman for legendary DC go-go group Uncalled 4 Band (UCB) and Wale’s backup singer, Tre, reuniting with bandmates Eric, Glenn and Rashad, performing their 2005 hit “Sexy Ladies.” The four group members currently work as Wale’s house band for his shows.
This year’s headlining performance seemed a little different for Wale. Following the commercial success of his most recent album, The Album About Nothing, before performing “The Need to Know,” off the album, he explained why the song hadn’t become a commercial single…trying not to throw too much shade at his label executives.
“The powers that be are the reason this song is not on the radio,” he stated after cutting off his DJ from playing the song.
Wale’s brief but profound statement led to further “soapboxes speeches” and, what he calls, “off-script shit,” somewhat mirroring the great Hov’s “Stream of Consciousness.” The rapper went on to explain some of his songs, getting fans to understand deeper lyrics beyond their surface meaning.
Performing crowd favorites, “Clappers,” “The Matrimony,” “Bad” and “Diced Pineapples, Wale also premiered his first live performance of his up and coming single “Pretty Young Thing (PYT),” sampling Mike Jack’s “PYT” hit. The song was first heard via social media on Wale’s snapchat back in October.
The concert, also attended by DC Mayor, Muriel Bowser, closed with the nationally conscious song “White Shoes,” which was nominated for a 2015 MTV VMA award.
Wale has plans to release his fifth coming album in 2016, with possible hopes of running along side Michigan Wolverines Coach, Jim Harbaugh, as Vice President of the United States in the 2020 Presidential Election.
Imagine that! Kanye. Harbaugh. Wale…interesting ballot. Guess we’ll have to wait to see that.