Hip-Hop

Wale Opens Up About Drugs, Depression & Seeking Respect: 'I've Been Through Shit'

Wale, 2014.
Courtesy of Atlantic

Wale

"I was depressed... I wasn't sleeping. I was drinking all day and I didn't have anyone to go to. I couldn't fight it."

Rick Ross Crashes Car Amid Hail of Bullets
 

What else have you been through?
Getting dropped from a label is only fun to people who can't feel it. [Wale was released by Interscope Records in 2010.] Everybody was laughing at Trinidad James when he got dropped. Damn, what if you just lost your job today? What if your friend got shot at and crashed his car and wasn't picking up the phone? I was in tears when Ross got shot at [in 2013]. He doesn't even know that. I was scared. I was thinking the worst. He wasn't picking up the phone. But I was seeing all these people laugh at him on social media. That's my friend! Someone said [on Twitter], "I wish it had been you" when A$AP Yams died. What did I do to you? Is a retweet or laugh that important to you? I'm sensitive, okay? God gave me the ability to feel twice as much so I can write, twice as much maybe.
 
What did you get from your time from hanging with Kanye West in Paris a few weeks ago?
How organized his shit is. He's very organized and people listen. He has a staff that will listen to him. I have a staff whose mind tends to wander or they'll act like I'm working for them. Even when Kim [Kardashian] is in there, things are centered around the breadwinner and creator. And he has the same thing as me, where he tries to make sure he's not offending anybody. That's something I recognized. He'll say something and then follow it up with, "You know, I wasn't trying to…" And the person will say, "It's all good!' I'm like that too. I want to make sure I don't offend anyone. In this industry, you can be so offensive to somebody and not even know it, like, "Bruh, I could've sworn that I kissed every baby in here."
 
Your last album hit No. 1. Do you think this album will get you the respect you want?
I gave this my all. I'm not trying to whine about being critically acclaimed or getting in the door, but it breaks my heart. Everyone says, "Be patient. It'll happen." But all signs are showing, "No, it won't happen." I'm okay with people not liking my music but provide an intelligent reason for why you like or don't like something or you're a hater or a dick-rider. This is my fourth album. I want some respect. I want to go to a party and not have Katy Perry tell her security to move me out of the fuckin' way. We do the same thing. I know there's no union in the music industry, but have some respect.  I want people to be like, "Your album's just as good as Kendrick [Lamar]'s or Esperanza Spalding or Beck." I work just as hard as them.