Wale
Photo by Calvin Bak; Courtesy of Warner Records

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Wale at Fillmore Silver Spring

The Grammy-nominated, multi-platinum, hip-hop artist Wale is one of the most versatile rappers of his generation. It has been over 11 years since Wale debuted his musical blend of hip-hop, afrobeats, reggae, soul, and R&B—and turned heads in the entertainment industry by doing so. A Nigerian-American and D.C. native, Wale was born Olubowale Akintimehin. He first rose to fame with his song “Dig Dug (Shake It),” a tribute to go-go band Northeast Groovers drummer Ronald “Dig Dug” Dixon. The track became the most requested song by a local artist in D.C. radio history. It got him industry recognition, which is how he met English producer Mark Ronson, and eventually signed to his label, Allido Records, in 2007. After releasing a few mixtapes and being featured on the soundtrack of popular video game Saints Row 2, Wale found himself in the middle of a bidding war between three labels, which ended with him signing to Interscope Records, and releasing his debut album, Attention Deficit, in 2009. A few hits later, Wale landed in the hands of Florida hip-hop mogul Rick Ross. Now, Wale is signed to the powerhouse record label Warner Records. He released his latest album, Folarin II, last October to critical acclaim. The sequel to his groundbreaking 2012 mixtape, Folarin, this record boasts an impressive list of featured artists, including J. Cole, Jamie Foxx, Boyz II Men’s Shawn Stockman, and Ant Clemons. Wale is also trying his hand at another artistic medium—the big screen. He has a role in Michael Bay’s Ambulance, which will be released this April. But D.C. has a chance to see him even sooner, when he comes home to play Fillmore Silver Spring on March 11. Though the show is sold out, resale prices aren’t too steep yet. If you miss him this time around, he’ll be back in May for Broccoli City Festival. Wale performs at 8 p.m. on March 11 at Fillmore Silver Spring, 8656 Colesville Rd. Silver Spring. livenation.com. Sold out.