Give Wale credit for knowing how to fall back. The D.C. rapper/Mark Ronson bid for street cred has laid low since The Mixtape About Nothing led the blogosphere to declare him “real and spectacular.” Now with every Internet dork hunkering down to craft their year-end lists, flagon of Merlot and camembert* in hand, Wale has returned with a video for a song that leaked 15 months ago.
A weird decision, sure–but idiosyncrasy is a prime reason why the guy is worth watching in the first place. Judging from the Chris Robinson-directed clip and the song itself, the “Nike Boots” video exists beyond promotion, but as a way for Wale to trump his DMV roots. You'd have to ask Noz how faithfully it holds up, my D.C. experience is limited to a day at the Smithsonian and a dull, drunken night in Alexandria. But between the black and white grit, the cameos (Kid Capri, Bun B, 9th Wonder), the flashing Capital rotunda imagery, and the teeming crowds, Wale creates an aura of triumphalism.
It's always been odd that the capitol's never produced a major rap star. I once interviewed Izzy and while he was nice enough, dude claimed he was going to put D.C. on his back. Uh, not quite. Unless Wale gets busted under some obscure Good Samaritan law between now and next Spring, the district's luck is bound to change.
* In the 90027, we go Diesel Kush and iced coffee.
MP3: Wale-“Nike Boots”