Wale Made History as the First MC to Open State of the Union Event (Video)

Last night, President Obama delivered his seventh and final State of the Union Address to congress, marking a symbolic end to his tenure as Commander in Chief. Remarkably optimistic in its tone, the Address covered the economy’s recent upswing, the current state of American healthcare infrastructure, the hope of finding a cure for cancer, the facts about climate change, terrorist threats against the U.S., changing the way our political system works, and more. For millions of Americans, it served as one of many goodbyes to the Obama presidency that will take place over the next several months as the upcoming presidential election inches closer and closer. But beyond the historic nature of the Address itself, some other history was being made behind the scenes.

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In an opening ceremony for the State of the Union Address, the White House hosted Terrence J and Wale as entertainers, with the latter performing a handful of his songs for the audience. He chose to showcase his breakthrough single “Chillin'” in addition to album cuts “The White Shoes” and “LoveHate Thing.” It wasn’t Wale’s first time at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue (he has previously performed for First Lady Michelle Obama), but it was the first time a rapper had ever performed as an opening act for a State of the Union affair. The DMV rapper opted to use the platform to announce the name of his upcoming fifth album, due for release later this year and titled Shine.

He also unleashed a new freestyle today in the form of “Powerball.”

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