Every rap fan has that one emcee that stands out over the rest, usually based on a combination of lyrical talent, longevity in the game, unmatched style and an overall appeal that usually sees their music as a mainstay on the Billboard charts.
Washington D.C.’s own Wale believes that he ranks up there with the greatest of all time in hip-hop, but should his GOAT status be considered a fact or is it just a self-proclamation that only rings true within his loyal fanbase?
The conversation was sparked after Wale jumped on Twitter the other day to let his feelings be known on why he should be considered a rap GOAT, writing, “When I say I’m one of the greatest rappers of all time . I mean it with all my heart . I’ve put out more QUALITY music than most . My deep cuts are crazy . My singles all got plaques . Decade plus. THAT is why I’m heavy on the gratitude.”
His statement sparked a lot of discussion on social media, which he even engaged in for a bit, with many people either agreeing with his declaration or chastising him for showing lack of humility.
In Wale’s case, the 36-year-old DMV native has without question bless the rap world with great music since his 2005 debut mixtape, Paint A Picture. He has collabs with Lady Gaga, J. Cole, Kid Cudi, Nicki Minaj, Usher, Lil Wayne, Megan Thee Stallion and a laundry lists of others to his name. When it comes to touring, not many can claim Jay-Z as a road companion, and we don’t think anyone can say they’ve had Seinfeld stars Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Jerry Seinfeld himself personally help them out on two separate albums dedicated to his obsession with the beloved ’90s sitcom.
On the flip side, Wale’s last release, Wow… That’s Crazy, sold just 5,000 in pure sales when it dropped back in 2019, and he’s yet to have a single make it in the top 20 on the Billboard Hot 100 since his first appearance on the chart in 2008. In addition to that, the press run for his 2017 album, Shine, was more or less spent defending himself against critics and rap fans alike labeling him as a flop.
We all know metrics shouldn’t be the end-all-be-all deciding factor when it comes to deeming someone as a GOAT rapper, especially for an artist like Wale that consistently makes quality music. However, should he be considered one of the greatest if his stats don’t exactly reflect that?
Peep the initial debate he sparked on Twitter below, and let us know if you think Wale is a contender for hip-hop GOAT status:
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