While he spent more than a decade under Rick Ross’ Maybach Music Group, Wale, who just released his Folarin II album, has called a few other labels home throughout his career. This includes Interscope, Atlantic, and Warner Records, where he resides today. Another place he called home at one point was Jay-Z’s Roc Nation, which served as his management team since 2009. However, during his 2013 What Dreams May Come Tour with fellow rapper and good friend J. Cole, Wale was pushed to leave Roc Nation after he came to a shocking realization during the string of shows, something he revealed during an appearance on the Drink Champs podcast.
“What happened was, I was in the Hov cycle for a long time,” he said on the podcast. “There was a time that I was on tour with J. Cole. At the time, I was opening for him. They said it was a co-headlining tour, but whatever, I was opening for him, and it was an elaborate stage and this that and the third.”
He continued, “And somebody in my circle told me, ‘You’re losing 5 grand every time you get on stage. Not only are you’re not breaking even, you’re losing money.’ Me, at that point in my life, I forget what city we was in but I was on the bus and I got an offer to do a tour with two other artists. And I wanted to go with Cole because that’s my brother and we just did the Hov tour.”
At this point, Wale knew a decision had to be made between staying or exiting the tour. “I could literally be hosting clubs and making this a night,” he noted. “I just had a meltdown for real and I remember whatever city I was in, there were three days left and I just quit the tour. I just quit.” Wale added, “If I was touring by myself, I could be bussin’ it crazy every night. So I kinda just had a meltdown and I didn’t know who to call, my lawyer or my accountant. The next day, called somebody there and they gave me this option or that option.”
Despite his frustrations, Wale maintains that it’s been nothing but love between him and Jay-Z since the touring incident. “It’s been all love ever since but I wasn’t privy to this f*ckin’ music industry sh*t,” Wale admitted. ” I just knew, this many people in the room, we can make something happen. Jay’s still my idol, still my favorite rapper. I still got all the love for all of them. I was just a little bit early in this sh*t though.”
You can watch the full Drink Champs video