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With new record deal, Wale proves he can't lose

Ralph Bristout

 // May 16, 2018

Artist // Instagram

Wale can't lose.

Last year, the D.C. native parted ways with Atlantic Records after releasing three albums under the label, including 2017's Shine, which became the rapper's worst charting LP since 2008's Attention Deficit. Yet still, even in the face of adversity, the D.C. native knows how to turn what some would call "Ls" into "Laughs" (in your face).

Following weeks of moving independent and dropping EPs out of the sky, Wale announced a deal with Warner Bros. Records. "I am delighted that Wale has joined Warner Bros. Records," said Tom Corson, Co-Chairman & COO of Warner Bros. Records, in a statement. "His is a pillar in the hip-hop community and beyond; with his cultural relevance and lyrical prose, he continues to elevate the game."

Taking Corson's statement into account, Wale is also the living underdog incarnate.

Throughout his career, the rapper has faced a series of commercial ups and downs. In 2010, he was dropped from Interscope Records after sales of Attention Deficit plummeted (the album's Lady Gaga-assisted single "Chillin" barely cracked the Billboard Hot 100 chart). When the talks of him falling off arose, the rapper picked himself by the bootstraps and killed with a slew of guest verses, including Waka Flocka's smash hit "No Hands." The single peaked on the Hot Rap Songs chart and gave Wale enough boost to land a deal with Rick Ross' Maybach Music Group label. His first release under the boutique label was Ambition, which eventually went gold, garnered the rapper a Top 50 smash ("Lotus Flower Bomb") and Grammy nod (Best Rap Song). His 2013 follow-up album, The Gifted, earned Wale a No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 chart and spawned his biggest single ever, "Bad." The streak would follow him on 2015's The Album About Nothing.

Fast forward to this week, months after his departure from Atlantic and last year's disappointing Shine, Wale once again proves that you can knock him down nine times, but he'll get up 10.

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