In 2008, there were many rappers who were poised to take over the game. At a time when many felt the hip hop genre was struggling, these rappers were chosen as the ones to restore order. Wale was among the rappers critics felt could return hip hop to its roots. Hailing from the go-go city of Washington, DC, Wale had a unique style.
While 2008 was a rebuilding year for hip hop, a major move was made when Jay-Z launched the Roc Nation company. J. Cole was the first artist signed to the label, while Wale was the first artist signed to a management deal. In 2009, Wale was signed by Interscope Records and he quickly released his debut album, Attention Deficit.
The album suffered from a lack of promotion and Wale was forgotten by the mainstream before 2010 was in full swing. During the summer of 2010, Wale parted ways with Interscope Records and he began exploring his options. Rick Ross boasted of how he was considering adding Wale to his rapidly-growing Maybach Music label.
Early in 2011, Wale announced he signed with Maybach Music and Rick Ross soon had a distribution deal in place with Warner Bros., which led to the release of the Maybach Music compilation album. Following the success of the group album, Wale released his second album, Ambition. Released earlier this month, the album has become a tremendous success, with Wale currently dominating the radio waves.
Wale discussed the project and Jay-Z’s influence. When speaking on Jay-Z, Wale said he and the Roc Nation team are his support and Jay-Z is his business manager, of sorts. Wale recalled asking Jay-Z about the failure of his debut album and Jay-Z told him he probably did not come out with a strong lead single. Those comments from Jay-Z prompted Wale to do much better on Ambition and it continues to fuel his ascent.