Wale Talks About Much More Than MMG Drama & A Gossipy Headline Can Capture (Video)

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Hip-Hop Fans, we need your help...We recently launched AFH TV, a streaming video service focused on Hip-Hop culture. We already have exclusive interviews, documentaries, and rare freestyles featuring some of Rap’s most iconic artists and personalities. But, there is so much more to come--movies, TV series, talk shows--and we need your support to make it a reality. Please subscribe to AFH TV. It is only $1.99/month or $12/year, and offers 30-day free trials. Thank you.

Yesterday (October 21), Wale visited the Breakfast Club at Power 105.1FM in New York City for an interview. For more than an hour, the D.C. rapper discussed his career, the current state of Maybach Music Group, as well as his thoughts about the now infamous Drake and Meek Mill kerfuffle. Wale’s speaking on the topic brought some ire from Meek Mill, who took to social media to voice his anger, expressing that he did not appreciate Wale discussing issues involving the MMG label or his feud with Drake. Wale and Meek Mill have their own history, as Heads may recall. Back in 2014, Meek Mill insulted Wale and publicized the fact that the latter was no longer a member of MMG. The discussion on the Breakfast Club brought forth some statements from Wale, who argued that Meek Mill was essentially outgunned, and that Drake is the more talented of the two. However, that was only one chapter of a far-reaching discussion with The Album About Nothing rapper.

He and hosts Charlamagne, DJ Envy, and Angela Yee also touched upon more serious issues like depression, an illness Wale has experienced in his own life. In sharing his thoughts on Lamar Odom’s recent health scare, the 31-year-old expressed his sadness and even anger at the reactions many had to Odom’s ordeal. “The thing about depression is, like…some people really be crying for help. And then nobody hears their cry. And then when somethin’ happen, everybody by they bedside cryin’ ‘shoulda, coulda, woulda.'” He then went on to include his own struggles, sharing that “there’ve been times in my life where I’ve been, like, ‘man, I might not be sayin’ it in words, but can’t y’all tell I’m goin’ through somethin’?'” Eventually, the issue of addiction and drug use is brought into play, as the group discusses the role of substance abuse in depression, particularly among celebrities. “I know rappers right now that’s doing heroin,” Wale says. “It’s called ‘lean’ though, but what you think happens when they got a high tolerance for lean and there’s none around…what you think is the next option?” The exclusive inner circle of the Rap industry he calls a “fraternity,” and laments that even if a drug user is approached with concern, the abuse just continues, and Wale says it’s beginning to affect the music. In quoting somebody on Twitter, he says “we turned them from Drug-Dealer Rap to Drug-Addict Rap” and that “respect the hustle” has morphed into “respect high tolerance.”

Further along in the interview (near the 11:30 mark), the conversation turned to an analysis of the BET Awards, particularly Sam Smith’s winning the “Best New Artist” trophy. To Wale, opting to give the Award to a white artist, regardless of his being “very talented” diminished the contributions of “Black people” who are doing things that are “important for our culture” and was straight up “corny.” “I think Rae Sremmurd should have gotten that joint…them young’ns ain’t really talkin’ ’bout overly gang-bangin’ and all that…they givin’, like, a Kid ‘n’ Play kind of vibe. I think that’s important.”

Other parts of the interview deal with gay artists in the industry, which Wale calls “an advantage”; the reception to his most recent album, which he says wasn’t promoted the right way; his experiences in the White House, which evolved from a personal invitation from the First Lady; the status of a new album, which he says is “all over the place” and may not have the usual “Wale sound”; and much, much more. Check out the full interview below.

Related: Wale Marches With Baltimore High School, Urges Media To Look Closer (Video)