Wale Talks The Music Industry Being Built On “Fake” & “Silent” Flowers


The ‘Folarin II’ album creator explains why praising his peers in public is important.

Olubowale “Wale” Akintimehin routinely refers to himself as one of the greatest rappers of all time. While there are certainly Hip Hop fans who agree and disagree with that declaration, the DMV-bred performer stands by his belief that he is one of the GOATs.

This week saw the arrival of Wale’s seventh studio LP. Folarin II dropped on October 22 with high-profile contributions by J. Cole, Rick Ross, Chris Brown, and other artists.

As part of the rollout for Folarin II, Wale spoke with Nadeska for Apple Music 1’s Rap Life Radio. The conversation included Wale discussing musicians receiving their metaphoric flowers while they can still smell them.

“It’s a lot of ways to look at it. I give flowers to my inspirations, my OGs, my contemporaries, my peers, and myself. When I say I’m one of the greatest rappers of all time, I strongly believe that. It might not be a popular take but I strongly believe that,” said Wale.

He continued, “This industry’s built on a lot of fake flowers and a lot of silent flowers. I think Westside Gunn said something like, ‘Shout out to Tyler because he gave me my flowers in public.’ That type of stuff goes a long way. Public perception and narratives and stuff like that.”

Throughout his career, Wale has secured four Top 10 albums on the Billboard 200 chart, six Top 10 songs on the Hot Rap Songs chart, and one Grammy nomination. He also collaborated with chart-topping acts like Rick Ross, Meek Mill, Lady Gaga, Usher, Lil Wayne, Drake, Nicki Minaj, Chris Brown, Miguel, and many others.

“Sometimes I feel like I lead the league in quiet pats on the back – sneaky praises. So it’s like, you got to give yourself them flowers and be man enough and confident enough to give your peers them too when they do well. That’s pretty much what this is about,” Wale told Nadeska.