Popular Nigerian-American rap artiste, Wale Folarin, has hinted at why he has been silent on social media for a while. The 38-year-old took the time out to announce the death of his grandfather whom he described as ‘a true Ondo State legend’.
The rapper lost his grandfather at the age of 103 this week. Taking to his verified Instagram account, via his IG stories, the entertainer wrote, “I lost my grandfather today… He made it to 103. I have been staying low lately and lettin God talk to me… imma smile as much as I can today. Embrace your family! None of this means anything without them. Rest now, Oga. A true Ondo State Legend.”(sic)
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Inasmuch as the skilled rap artiste attained fame in the US, he has never forgotten his Nigerian roots as he has collaborated with top Nigerian artistes like Wizkid, Davido, Olamide, Phyno, amongst others.
Born Olubowale Victor Akintimehin on September 21, 1984, he first gained recognition in 2006, when his song “Dig Dug (Shake It)” became popular in his hometown, leading Wale to became locally recognized as he continued recording music for the regional audience.
Wale met English DJ-producer Mark Ronson in 2006 and joined his label, Allido Records in 2007. While signed to that label, Wale released several mixtapes and appeared in national media including MTV and various Black American-focused magazines.
A song called “Ridin’ in That Black Joint” was featured in the popular video game Saints Row 2’s soundtrack in 2008.
Also in 2008, a three-label bidding war resulted in Wale signing with Interscope Records for $1.3 million, and his debut album, Attention Deficit, was released in 2009 with the singles “Chillin” (featuring Lady Gaga), “Pretty Girls” (featuring Gucci Mane), and “World Tour” (featuring Jazmine Sullivan). The album, although under-shipped, was met with positive reception from critics.
However, in early 2011, Wale signed with Florida rapper Rick Ross’ Maybach Music Group, where members of the label released a compilation album, Self Made Vol. 1 on May 23.
His second studio album, Ambition, was released in November 1, 2011, with mixed reviews. His third studio album, The Gifted, was released on June 25, 2013, to mainly positive reviews; it debuted at number one on the Billboard 200. His second Billboard number one album, The Album About Nothing, was released on March 31, 2015.
In 2018, Wale released three EPs titled, It’s Complicated, Self-Promotion and Free Lunch. Also, in 2019, Wale released his sixth studio album, Wow… That’s Crazy, with the album’s lead single “On Chill” (featuring Jeremih) was released on July 12, 2019.
The song was met with positive reviews and spent 23 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at number 22. In 2021, Wale followed up his 2012 mixtape Folarin with his seventh studio album Folarin II. Recently, in 2022, Wale appeared in the film, Ambulance directed by Michael Bay.