I been listening to Wale for years. I am a stan, and as much as his flow and style have changed, several things have remained consistent: This man knows how to talk to women, he knows how to pour his ain’t-s—tness into a track and he knows how to get women to love these tracks. It’s a skill. I can’t even front.
The first example of this is one of my all-time favorites, “Rather Be,” featuring J. Cole and Curren$y. This whole track is basically three of arguably the best rappers out today talking to a woman’s lower half and saying they’d rather be with it than the owner. Let’s be clear—this is nothing more than an “I wanna smash” song, but it’s cleverly worded and filled with double entendres. Look here for proof:
Listen, love of my life, I'm tryin' to get some uh-
tention. You don't gotta listen just give a [f—k]
Your mouth, I don't need, your legs, you can keep
Just tryin' to get up in your jeans, re-sew your seams
Plain and simple, though, this is exactly what many women seem to wish diva dudes would just say out loud so they knew where they stood. (Also, the verses by Spitta and J. Cole are what dreams are made of.)
The second example, “Goodbye,” is off the same mixtape and is a duet with Jean Grae. This song is actually an adorable love song, but I call it a diva-dude anthem because Wale is literally bragging on some “Look, you had me, and you could have stuck with me, but you wanted more, so that’s why you had to go” tip. If I need to explain any clearer as to how bad that is, you’re not paying attention.
The third example is one of Wale’s most famous songs, “Bad.” This was a hit simply because the tone of the song is about a woman who’s not great at relationships at all. However, in the most honest terms, the hook itself is the epitome of what a diva dude is. You couldn’t make it any clearer if you tried. The lyrics Wale is spitting are based on women, but if you replaced him with a woman, you couldn’t tell me there wouldn’t be a collective moment of post-traumatic stress disorder for women when thinking of the men described by the lyrics.
The fourth example is arguably Wale’s most successful song outside of “Bad”: “Matrimony,” featuring Usher. Now, this song was a big deal last year for two reasons: It points out the fear that many men have—that learning to love someone for all time is a decision they have to make—and it is the closest thing to Jagged Edge’s “Let’s Get Married,” with a dude saying, “A’ight girl, you got me.”
Again, this is a diva-dude trap. He got you thinking he’s putting his heart on the line, but in reality … that’s just Usher’s hook. Wale is basically saying from beginning to end, “I’m trying to figure this out, I just don’t know what it means yet, so wait a minute.” Isn’t that the one thing many women have hated for the longest when it comes to dealing with men?
Lastly, from his latest mixtape, we have “Bitches Like You,” featuring Cam’ron. Now, this one in particular is hilarious. In famous diva-dude fashion, we’re being told he’s a changed man and he has no time for the same old type of broads. It’s just not gonna happen now. So get on this D or get off board. Even better, Killa Cam comes spitting some legendary Superfly knowledge, then hits us with the biggest slap of them all: “I’m the water/you’re the bridge/get over me.”
If yesterday was about ghosting, then today is proof that as much as people want closure, they’d collectively lose their s—t if someone said this to them out loud.
Joel Philip is a 30-something from the land of bullets and blueberry muffins known as Brooklyn, N.Y. He specializes in being awkward, daydreams of being Mr. Robot and tries to live the theme of Toy Story 3 every day of his life.