Rootin’ for Everybody Black, From Nigeria to America and Everywhere in Between – Wale

Olubowale Victor Akintimehin, or who is more commonly know as Wale, is an American based rapper born from two Nigerian parents. He is a well-known artist here in the U.S. with a long list of hit songs throughout his elongated 17 year career. One of his most recent songs “Sue Me”, has a corresponding music video that is really captivating, impactful, and exhibits some super significant imagery. The video follows a young white man who essentially lives the experience of a black man. Instead of a society where black people are criminalized, discriminated against, and face oppression, the white people are subject to this. It displays the reality of what it would look like for white Americans to walk in the shoes of black Americans in their everyday life which is very eye-opening. 

The chorus reads:

“Sue me, I’m rootin’ for everybody that black

Spent ’bout two racks on handmade durags

Sue me, I’m rootin’ for everybody that black

That’s everybody from sports to college class to rap, I’m back”

The lyrics of “Sue Me” embody total pro-blackness and how unapologetic Wale is about the utmost love and support he has for the black community. Even though his main message in the song is addressed to the black population in America, he does not neglect to make reference to his African roots. 

“And I carried the bitterness of a kola nut

Nigerian shit, my parents never showed much”

According to JRSM, “The Kola nut is prized throughout West Africa by the poor and the affluent; by men and women; by Muslims, Christians and animists. It is a shared experience, a powerful cultural symbol. It is given to show respect and as a sacred offering”, (Starin, 2013). His incorporation of this very vital plant in Nigeria and his mention of Nigerian parents goes to show that his African roots are very much a part of his identity despite being born in America. In fact, in an interview conducted by OkayAfrica, Wale states “I look at myself as a black man in America, but as a Nigerian first.”

All in all, the song “Sue Me” and the corresponding music video prove that Wale is a big advocate of racial equity in America and his Nigerian background remains an influential aspect of his self-identity. 

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