Last week, D.C. native Wale took over Nashville’s legendary Cannery Ballroom. The 1000-capacity standing room venue was completely sold out days before the show, and fans showed up and showed out for this long-awaited night. The rapper brought the heat, performing old classics and newer hits on the Wow…That’s Crazy tour.
I entered the venue only 15 minutes after doors opened, and I was immediately shocked at how packed the place was. The line to get in the building was wrapped around the door, full of eager fans decked out in the hottest fashion trends. The sold-out show brought out many long-time fans of the celebrated rapper, and the energy in the room was electric, even though the show hadn't even begun. I mentally prepared myself for a night full of good drinks, better beats, lots of hype, and of course, the soundtrack from my childhood (sorry, Mom).
The lights dimmed and Wale, with a presence that’s larger than life, stepped out on stage, sporting 003’s by John Geiger, as well as designer shades, and the crowd lost it.
Wale got the crowd jumping like only someone who’s been in the game for over a decade could do. He came in hot with his hit song, Lotus Flower Bomb, with fans screaming his name between every line he delivered, and that same energy, excitement, and passion could be felt in the room from beginning to end.
Shortly into his set, Wale pauses for a moment to set the tone for the night: one of humility and gratitude and celebration. The artist expressed how happy he was that many of his fans are black, and that black = BEAUTIFUL. In the past, he’s never shied away from speaking on hot topics such as race, which is one of the reasons his fans are happy to support him in his musical career.
He goes on to perform more of his classic hits, including a fan favorite, My PYT, and finishes the show with more classics he’s been featured on. One song in particular, No Hands, got every single person in the crowd on their feet and nodding to the music, and it was instantly like I had been transported back into my freshman year in high school when this was one of the first songs I had downloaded onto my iPod.
Near the end of the night, Wale thanked old and new fans for coming out and supporting him, and reiterated how special one’s blackness is and how it should be celebrated. I’m counting down the days until Wale’s next tour, and am hoping to see this legend perform in Nashville again soon.