Washington, D.C.-based rapper Wale’s been on the come-up for a while. The 27-year-old’s made a compelling case for himself with a handful of thumping mixtapes and his Attention Deficit (2009) debut, which featured guest spots by Lady Gaga, Bun B and Pharrell. Signing with Rick Ross’ Maybach Music Group in early 2011, he’s positioned to blow up. The Eleven One Theory tape—released in August to commemorate his one millionth Twitter follower—finds him maintaining the wild, D.C. go-go percussion sound that’s provided his production a drop on more predictable competition. His focus slips between club-suave and the eternal paper chase, but his sense of humor continuously shines, like on his Seinfeld-inspired Mixtape About Nothing (2008) or when, in the midst of a candlelit slow jam on Eleven One, he randomly shouts out “white boy” Mac Miller, the Pittsburg rapper. Ambition, his Maybach debut, drops Nov. 1 and promises appearances by Philly boys Meek Mill and Diplo.
Mon., Oct. 10, 8:30pm. $29. Theatre of Living Arts, 334 South St. 215.922.1011. tlaphilly.com
PW's Music Issue 2014