Wale Talks About Threatening ‘Complex,’ Magazine Responds
Rucuss staffDecember 18, 2013
Wale is not the one to mess with when it comes to his latest album The Gifted.
The MMG rapper went ballistic to a Complex staff member last week when his album was left off the 50 Best Albums of 2013. The magazine responded by posting his tirade online.
Wale stopped by New York’s Hot 97 radio station and talked to Ebro and Rosenberg about the situation. During the interview Wale admitted he has an anger problem and is socially awkward. He also explained that he puts in extra work for his fans so they can have great music.
Check out some excerpts below.
On what would have happened if Wale was talking to the Complex staff member in person:
“To be honest, if [the guy from Complex] was in front of me at that time, I would’ve went at him. Like I said, I’m not perfect man and ain’t nobody perfect. Everybody tell you what they would do or what they could have done if they was me, but y’all not. You don’t know what you would do if you was in that position.
You just coming off a monumental Grammy snub. You ain’t been spun and all these other people, they not appreciating what you and your fans stand for. I take that personal, I work hard, man. I’m around a lot of these artists that they promoting and stuff like that. They don’t care about the game as much as I do.[…]The art form. I’m not for the money, dog.
I don’t think it’s fair to those people omitting me and doing things…especially when it’s coming from a place that’s not really fair. Y’all can say ‘Wale whining’ that and the third, but if there’s certain scales that you’re judging people on, let those be consistent. If it’s club records or if it’s record sales or if it’s…let it be a consistent type of thing.”
On why it matters whether or not Complex recognizes him:
“I feel like it’s personal. Like I said, I don’t want to shed too much light to that publication, but there’s a lineage of things that I’ve seen in the past couple of years that have been red flags. I’ve talked to my publicist about it. She be like, ‘It is something. I don’t know what it is Wale, but it is something.’
[Do you take responsibility for whatever that is?]
“There was a lot of stuff done during the Interscope days with me being wet behind the ears that I just didn’t know. I had poor media training. I just didn’t know.”
[You were socially awkward.]
“Yeah, and I still am to a certain extent, but I’m not as bad as I used to be. But you gotta learn though. It ain’t that I’m a jerk or nothing, I just didn’t know how to be.”
[So you take responsibility partly for the relationship you have with Complex? ]
“Some of it is hearsay, though. I’ve never had direct interaction with them. I have other theories. I’m a bit of a conspiracy theorist. I believe that me and [Kid] Cudi’s fallout has something to do with their lack of support. Me and Cudi had a fallout. Me and Cudi was real cool. I used to live in SoHo and Cudi used to live right up there. We used to do a whole lot of stuff together. We performed when we were nobodies for the Michael Jordan classic game. I remember he was like, ‘Yo, I don’t even wear Jordans, all I wear is Bapes.’ We just bonded from that moment on.
We was just like this. We had kind of a little…talking about responsible. You guys are claiming to be this man’s boy. Y’all know he’s in a certain space right now and it’s almost like they were perpetuating some type of war. And at this time, I’m just losing my first record deal, so I’m in an even worse place. I just remember, ‘We don’t rock with you musically,’ this, that, and the third. It went viral. I felt like, damn, y’all getting my friend to kick me when I’m down. Y’all perpetuating it. Y’all instigating it. It hurt on so many levels, mainly because it was somebody that considered a close friend and I just feel like that magazine — of which he has five or six covers from or something crazy like that — is perpetuating this and making it a thing. More than what it could be. Moving forward, they always had this kind of elitist like, ‘We don’t like you’ thing. I really don’t care. I’m not [that] type of dude. I’m not begging no Williamsburg hipsters to like me.”
On taking it personally:
“It dug so much into my real life that it messed with my head. It really made me feel like for a couple seconds that I wasn’t worth anything. I wasn’t worth what these other people are worth that they’re mentioning. That’s sad and that’s a major disservice to my fans. Whether it’s 10 people, a million people, 20 people, I got some people that all the way believe in me. For me to start questioning myself, my own skills and my own talent, it’s just like, dang.”
On validating the importance of Complex‘s list:
“That’s the first thing Jay [Z] said to me. You just made that list important. You just validated them. Everybody told me that day. Jay, Tata, Q-Tip called me. Primo. But it’s just like when you do something bad in school and you come back from suspension and everybody’s like, ‘Yo, what were you thinking?’”
Complex received some backlash from other media outlets after releasing Wale’s audio. In an attempt to justify its actions, Complex senior editor Rob Kenner responded with an article on Tuesday.
“The decision to publish Wale’s irate phone call to a Complex Media editor last week was not made lightly” Kenner said. “In the 24 hours following the D.C. rapper’s Wednesday afternoon rant multiple meetings took place during which serious debate ensued amongst Complex’s music department and senior staff.”
Kenner added, “Others, myself included, maintained that any time anyone threatens violence against any member of our staff, that threat must be taken seriously and addressed. Our intention was not to retaliate or sensationalize but simply to document a credible threat against not just one reporter but our entire team—from accounting to ad sales, IT, HR, even college interns.”
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