Wale's sports obsessions have apparently landed him a new deal. Ahead of the release of his fourth studio album, The Album About Nothing, the DMV rapper has parted ways with longtime management Roc Nation and signed with 77 North Management, a team that also handles NBA star LeBron James, and Drake's favorite football player, Johnny Manziel, sources say.
The split was amicable, one source told XXL, the motivation being more about Wale keeping the momentum going with his career than any beef cooking up with the management company that Jay Z built. Wale signed with Roc Nation in 2009 around the time the record label launched its management division with flagship signee J. Cole.
In a dual deal with Roc Nation and Maybach Music Group, Wale released Ambition (2011) and The Gifted (2013) to a significantly wider audience than his Attention Deficit debut. Earlier this year, he confirmed its business, never personal with him, when he got into a social media tiff with fellow MMG artist Meek Mill. "I never wanted anybody to think we take ourselves THAT serious. (Were rappers ) ... I walk in a completely different world," he wrote. "... I check nbadraft.net daily . I'm on whatculture allll day I enjoy s---t like that. I play f---in Zelda and f---k wit b----es who teach yoga and paint... I write poems . I watch wwe . I collect kicks. I'm sensitive ok. Maybe bi polar. But one thjng I'm not is a hater (sic)."
A statement from 77 North confirmed Wale's move. "Wale's growth and maturity is clear, as he continues work on his best project to date. Its rollout has a lot to do with his new management, who have only been associated with the biggest and best brands in the world… #LeBron #Beats #JohnnyFootball (sic)."
Though not much else has been said about Wale's "best project to date," presumably a reference to The Album About Nothing (a throwback to his popular mixtapes, The Mixtape About Nothing and More About Nothing), word from the rapper himself is that he's planning a fall release, has beats from Pete Rock and DJ Premier, and has continued his sketch comedy work with Jerry Seinfeld.
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(Photo: Larry Busacca/Getty Images for the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival)