Olubowale Victor Akintimehin Folarin (born September 21, 1984 in Washington, D.C.), better known by his stage name Wale, is an American rapper and producer. Fusing DC’s homegrown go-go genre with a streetwise Northern hip-hop sensibility, he takes samples from all genres and blends them together with lyrical dexterity. In 2005 he released his debut mixtape, Paint a Picture, and has since released four more. His debut album, Attention Deficit, was released November 10, 2009.
Wale was born to Nigerian immigrant parents in Washington, DC. He grew up on Peabody Street in Northwest DC and moved to Largo, Maryland as a teenager. He attended seven different high schools in Washington, D.C. and Maryland, finally graduating from Quince Orchard High School in 2001. He went to Robert Morris College and Virginia State University on football scholarships, and then Bowie State University but dropped out in 2004 to pursue music full-time. Before music started paying the bills, Wale worked day jobs at Sprint, Up Against The Wall and Downtown Locker Room.
Wale emerged onto the local DC hip hop scene with the help of WKYS-FM’s DJ Alizay. Wale began getting radio play in 2004 with a single called “Rhyme of the Century” which got Wale in the June 2005 “Unsigned Hype” section of Source magazine and his buzz started growing.
In November 2006, a feature ran on AllHipHop.com’s Breeding Ground about Wale. The day before Thanksgiving, Wale took the stage between Lil Wayne and T.I. during the Southern Invasion tour at the Verizon Center.