Producer 9th Wonder recently stood up for Wale in light of signing to Maybach Music Group last year and said fans should not get upset when their favorite artists try to evolve.
In 9th’s perspective, artists like Wale and others are seemingly forced to try new sounds in order to reach a larger audience.
“People gotta understand that if you wanna sell a mass amount of records, your style is going to change,” he said in an interview. “If you want to sell two, three million records — you’re almost considered pop if you sell that many records. It didn’t used to be like that. But now, if you sell three million records you’re a pop artist. Period. Whether you rap or not, you’re listed in another demographic. In order to attract those people, you have to change your sound. It’s just up to you if you want to do that or not.” (Golden Underground TV)
Recently, Young Money’s Nicki Minaj addressed criticism she received for making pop-sounding music as of late.
“I would hope that people know at this point that I’m smart enough to know what I’m doing all the time. But I guess they still kind of waiver. I always intended on putting out something urban after ‘Starships,’ because I knew ‘Starships’ was a monster,” she explained. “Maybe it would be a problem if I couldn’t deliver records like ‘Roman Reloaded,’ but I can. I write my own lyrics. Once again, I write my own lyrics. So it’s never a problem. Whatever I feel, I can write, I can create it. So I’m good. I think people sometimes get blown away by the magnitude of the pop stuff, because the pop stuff, it reaches everywhere and then I feel like my hip-hop fans or hip-hop culture starts getting a little bit afraid that I’m going to leave. But this is who I am. I’m not going to change – I’m just adding on to my brand. And if you don’t understand that, then it’s probably why you don’t travel and you don’t see the world and I probably can’t even have a conversation with you anymore.” (Hot 97)
Last summer, Wale talked about wanting to put out a certified classic amongst the likes of Jay-Z‘s 1996 debut, Reasonable Doubt.
“None of us have been able to create a critically-acclaimed album so to speak,” Wale said in an interview. “That was my goal to try to do that. I ain’t really into selling because I’m doing pretty good. I got records on the radio for the first time in my career. I’m just trying to make a classic album, something that you can put up there with [Jay-Z’s 1996 debut] Reasonable Doubt and all the stuff that’s blasphemous to compare your work to now. Why can’t I say my album is just as good as Reasonable Doubt or I’m trying to beat Reasonable Doubt? That sh*t is blasphemous to say.” (XXL Mag)
While Wale’s 2009 debut Attention: Deficit only sold 28,3000 copies in its opening week, his Maybach Music Group debut Ambition moved over three times the amount last November.
Maybach Music Group rapper Wale’s Ambition debuted on the chart at No. 2. After seven days in stores, the LP has sold 164,100 copies. (SOHH Sales Wrap)
Check out 9th Wonder’s interview below: