A few days ago, Complex released their Top 50 Albums of 2013 list and absent from the list was D.C. rapper Wale, who scored a #1 album this past summer with the release of The Gifted. Wale was reportedly upset about the exclusion called the Complex offices and voiced some unpleasant words to their editors. In turn, Complex recorded the call and posted it on their website. Everyone and their mama had an opinion whether it was Wale was whining over a snub or did Complex pull a punk move and just to get publicity and website hits.
Here’s the thing: This isn’t the first time that Wale has been in the predicament. Three years ago, Wale when into a rant when he called up Baltimore’s 92Q (WERQ) and blasted Porkchop and Squirrel Wyde about some comments that was made in an interview with local rapper Bossman. Bossman was really coming at his neck so I understand why he snapped like that. So when this incident occurred with Complex, it really didn’t surprise me.
Wale’s been trying to earn his props for years. From the days of “W.A.L.E.D.A.N.C.E.” and “Nike Boots”, he’s built a solid base. The Mixtape About Nothing got him notoriety from mainstream media. Me personally, I still enjoy Back To The Feature and Attention Deficit. Critics of his music think he’s one of these soft rappers and that he’s too poetic. In an interview on Hot 97, Wale stated that he felt that the Complex snub was ‘personal’. Could have Wale gone about this differently? Pretty much so but when you’re upset, you don’t think straight when it comes to your actions. Yes, Wale did score a #1 album but to this date, he’s only sold 320k. Maybe he should have went with “Clappers” as a debut single and video, but hey shit happens.
Could have Complex played things differently and dealt with the Wale issue behind the scenes? They could have but when you want traffic to your site, some opportunities present themselves. Over the course of history, rappers have had run ins with journalists over interviews, album reviews, etc. Just because one magazine didn’t fuck with your album doesn’t mean the others don’t. Using threats to make your point just puts you in a bad light depending on how it came across. It seems as if cooler heads prevailed and no one got hurt. Wale did appear on Saturday Night Live that weekend in a music sketch with Jay Pharoah.