Olubowale Victor Akintimehin also known by his stage name Wale was born September 24, 1984 in Washington D.C. to parents that are both from the Yoruba ethnic group of southwestern Nigeria. In an interview Wale stated that both of his parents are Nigerian and he grew up in a household of Nigerian culture. He looks at himself as a black man in America, but as a Nigerian first because those are his roots.
Wale has experimented with Afrobeats and has worked with several Nigerian artists. One of his standout songs with over 4.4 million YouTube views is Fine Girl featuring Olamide and Davido. The music video itself opens with black women in African dress. Throughout the video Wale is expressing the excellence of black women. Wale often name drops things referring to Nigeria in his music. He does this in a verse of the song Fine Girl when name dropping Lagos which is Nigeria’s largest city.
Take it now, break it down like she want it bad
Put her in the verse, then the bed, then the cab
For the boy, baby girl, go to hell and back
On my way to Lagos, seen the latest shit to hit the net
Oh yeah, got some time for ya
Wale does an amazing job at meshing both his African and American roots. In his song Black Bonnie featuring Jacquees the music video opens up with him and his queen being waited on hand and foot in Africa but then the video transports to the time of the Black Panther movement where he and the same women are leaders in the movement. The music video shows different clips of the black power fist but also signs that say, “free our sisters free ourselves.” The video is a play on the iconic story of Bonnie and Clyde but with a modern day twist. He highlights black love and how it is so special. The video then reverts back to him and his queen in Africa with him saying that she is his best friend, confidant and partner in crime. I think he does this to show that women are equal partners to not only relationships but to life as well. He is giving representation to women in both Africa and America by saying that women CAN do all that men can, from ruling a country to being the face and being in charge of an entire movement.
In my opinion Wale does an amazing job of maintaining his African roots but also putting his American twist on things. He doesn’t let us forget who he is or where he comes from and that itself has made him on the most influential hip hop artists we have on rotation today.