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Wale Pens Ode to RGlll

Nearly a week after —-his first appearance in D.C. since The Gifted topped the Billboard 200—-Wale released the Robert Griffin lll-inspired “No Pain No Gain.” Gatorade and the Pigskins quarterback himself reportedly reached out to Wale about recording the song for ESPN’s RGlll: The Will to Win documentary, which chronicles RGlll’s road to recovery following knee surgery.

The montage-ready song finds Wale acknowledging the ‘Skins’ “burgundy and gold” on the hook and rhyming from the perspective of Griffin: “I’m a gladiator, I’m a fighting champion, a warrior/I’m a family man, I gotta pay my dues but can’t afford to run.” It’s not that much of a stretch—-Wale is a sports junkie who played football himself and is pretty skilled at weaving clever sports references into his lyrics. Lines like “Where your focus at?/Where your soldiers at?/You never got to ask/There’ll be no holding back, until we on the map” let you know that he’s talking about himself as much as he’s channeling RGlll.

The documentary airs August 27, at 7 p.m.

Get on Nike Nando’s Level

Maryland rapper Nike Nando borrowed the beat for Meek Mill’s plodding “Levels,” using it to attack his naysayers. With cocky lines like “your girl on my to-do list” and “your niggas bark like pit bulls but bite like mosquitos,” he sends warning shots and two big middle fingers to the haters. It’s typical “I’m hot, you’re not” fare, but in the wake of Kendrick Lamar’s “Control” verse, competition is all the rage in hip-hop right now. Nando also dropped “Morning, Noon & Night,” a smokers anthem over a rhythm section-heavy beat with a nasty guitar riff. “Roll it, light it, inhale it/Night time ‘round these streets, feel like I’m in Blair Witch,” he rhymes on the song’s opening bars. For a weed song that references visiting the gas station on a munchies mission, it’s surprisingly uptempo.

Look out for more new music from the hard-working MC soon.