Last time we checked in with D.C.-born hip-hop star Wale (pronounced wah-LAY), he was performing a couple of his hits at halftime of the Dallas game in a throwback Redskins jacket. That was back in 2009, as things were cratering out for that star-crossed squad, in a contest that I described at the time as “another disappointing game in a continually disappointing season.”
But it’s 2010 now, time to put the past away and look forward into a brave new future of awesomeness. So when Wale showed up at training camp today, I asked him what he had seen that gave him hope. “I actually haven’t had a chance to see too much,” he said. “But we were trying to get on the field ourselves. You know, I live vicariously through a couple of these people, man.”
I did know this. I did a fairly wide-ranging interview with Wale about his Redskins fandom last year, but running back Larry Johnson wasn’t on the team then, so I was surprised to hear that was one of Wale’s pals on the team.
“I was actually friends with him before he became a Redskin,” Wale told me. “I’m excited to get him in town, and I’m here to keep him out of trouble.”
Johnson explained: “We met in Miami and you know, knowing he was such a Redskins fan and he repped D.C. so hard, I told him there was a chance I might come over here. And when it ended up happening, we exchanged information and from there it just took off.”
Wale just released a new mixtape, More About Nothing. It’s receiving good notes from old-school outlets like the Wall Street Journal, but who needs music reviewers when you have former Pro Bowl running backs around. Here’s Johnson’s review of the project:
“It’s dope,” Johnson said. “I think it’s a little bit more … I would say it’s like a good part two to the album, like a soft preview of what’s to come. Like right now he’s stacking on top of his previous success and putting the hits together. You know, one was one or two hits. The next album was two, three hits. Now, you know, putting the mixtape, he’s adding a different audience to it, which is what he has to do. And I think coming out with his mixtape makes him a little bit more diverse rather than just that one half of a person.”
(My download stalled yesterday, so I haven’t heard it yet and can’t comment.)
But Johnson took some exception to the idea that Wale was keeping him out of trouble in D.C. “More like I’m keeping HIM out trouble,” he said, laughing.
The only way to resolve this logjam was to ask a guy who knew both of the involved parties: cornerback DeAngelo Hall. “That’s a tough one,” Hall said, when I asked who was watching out for whom. “They both need to keep each other out of trouble.”
The Seinfeld-influenced More About Nothing is available for download here.
Tags: larry johnson, training camp 2010, wale
Posted in General | No Comments »