In a recent interview with Billboard, Wale really opened up about his personal struggles with depression, drug abuse and his family. The 30-year-old rapper talked about some of the heartaches that inspired some of the tracks on his new album, The Album About Nothing, such as “The Matrimony,” in which he reveals that his ex-girlfriend suffered a miscarriage during her pregnancy.
“The girl I was with, we tried for a long time to have a child. And when she finally did [get pregnant], she miscarried at 10 or 11 weeks,” she said. “I was visualizing my child’s face. We gave it a name and everything. All of that went away.”
Wale also recalled dark patches in his past, during which depression and substance abuse took hold.
“I was depressed not being where I wanna be in my career when I’ve put the work in,” he said. “I wasn’t sleeping. I was drinking all day and I didn’t have anyone to go to. I couldn’t fight it. Those are some of the demons I talk about on the album.”
“My confidence was shot, so I’d be taking whatever to keep me in a good mood, to get me in the right mood for an interview,” Wale continued. “I’m not going into the details as to what I was taking, but there’s definitely something for that. Just like there’s a f**kin’ app for everything, there’s a damn pill for everything. Or something you can pour in your glass.”
As for his family and life growing up, Wale admitted that his family didn’t exactly nurture his ambition to become a rapper and that once he found success, they didn’t exactly understand it.
“All these rappers, they do songs about their mothers. I’m Nigerian — my mother didn’t encourage me to do this. Even when [my first album] Attention Deficit came out and I had kind of made it, most parents would have been like, ‘My baby did it!’ But I don’t have that. My mom didn’t come to my [youth football league] games,” he explained. “I can’t even explain to my mom what my job entails. She just knows that all of her bills are going to be paid.”
This craving for acceptance and validation is what has led Wale to seek the love and acceptance of others. “I didn’t have one-on-ones with my mom or dad. I was in juvenile facilities a lot. My point is that I grew up with the outside world meaning the most to me. This is in hindsight — I’m trying to figure out why I’m this way. I rely on the people’s opinions because I don’t have much outside of that.”
To read his entire interview, click here.
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(Photo: Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images for Roc Nation)