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Wale Says His New Bae Taught Him The Power Of Affirmations

The rapper wants the world to put some respect on his girl's name.

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I'm not a snack, I'm a whole garden; one that needs water, sunshine, and positive words of affirmation to survive and thrive like the amazing lifeform that I am. And although I'm capable of getting full on all three of these things by my damn self, it's never a bad idea to have someone pour into you, especially if that someone is your partner. Recently, images surfaced of Wale and his new girlfriend, and he wants you to know that not only does she quench his thirst, but she offers him all of the sunshine and positive affirmations that his heart could handle.

In a live interview with Elliot Wilson, Wale let critics know that his girlfriend India Graham has a name we should get used to, so we should put some respect on it. Earlier this month, some good old fashioned PDA confirmed the couple's relationship, which Wale has *tried* to keep under wraps until now. According to the internet, the 22-year-old model is originally from Lansing, Michigan, loves cooking, and oh yeah, makes six figures a year, and during his interview, Wale had a word for India's critics:

"Now, you say 'that model chick.' By the grace of God, I don't ever want those words to leave your lips again like that, 'cause that ain't no model chick. That's a special human being that came in my life, taught me about affirmations, taught me how to love better, taught me how to be positive."

In the past, the rapper has been open about his issues with commitment and transparency in his romantic relationships and even was the subject of a "love intervention" on Jada Pinkett Smith's Red Table Talk. The father-of-one was previously linked to Chloe Alexis and says that although he and the mother of his child decided to find love outside of one another, he still will have her back any day, and that's on gang.

"I got one of the most beautiful, powerful, inspirational, dedicated baby mothers of all time. I do! Somewhere along the line, we lost our way – as far as us connecting as lovers – but I will always hold that woman down for the rest of my life until I have no motherf*ckin' breath left in my lungs."

Now, after taking time to heal from his past transgressions, Wale is ready to open his heart again, and from the looks of it, he's finally found the "Ambitious Girl" he dreamed of. Along with teaching him about the power of affirmation, Wale says India has helped him learn more about himself:

"That woman's beautiful inside and out. That woman taught me so much about myself. And model chick's disgustingly underplaying what she really is. She is a smart, beautiful, motivating Black woman. She just happens to be good and makes six figures for taking pictures."

Featured image by Instagram/@igeeeeezy.

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Before she was Amira Unplugged, rapper, singer, and a Becoming a Popstar contestant on MTV, she was Amira Daughtery, a twenty-five year-old Georgian, with aspirations of becoming a lawyer. “I thought my career path was going to lead me to law because that’s the way I thought I would help people,” Amira tells xoNecole. “[But] I always came back to music.”

A music lover since childhood, Amira grew up in an artistic household where passion for music was emphasized. “My dad has always been my huge inspiration for music because he’s a musician himself and is so passionate about the history of music.” Amira’s also dealt with deafness in one ear since she was a toddler, a condition which she says only makes her more “intentional” about the music she makes, to ensure that what she hears inside her head can translate the way she wants it to for audiences.

“The loss of hearing means a person can’t experience music in the conventional way,” she says. “I’ve always responded to bigger, bolder anthemic songs because I can feel them [the vibrations] in my body, and I want to be sure my music does this for deaf/HOH people and everyone.”

A Black woman wearing a black hijab and black and gold dress stands in between two men who are both wearing black pants and colorful jackets and necklaces

Amira Unplugged and other contestants on Becoming a Popstar

Amira Unplugged / MTV

In order to lift people’s spirits at the beginning of the pandemic, Amira began posting videos on TikTok of herself singing and using sign language so her music could reach her deaf fans as well. She was surprised by how quickly she was able to amass a large audience. It was through her videos that she caught the attention of a talent scout for MTV’s new music competition show for rising TikTok singers, Becoming a Popstar. After a three-month process, Amira was one of those picked to be a contestant on the show.

Becoming a Popstar, as Amira describes, is different from other music competition shows we’ve all come to know over the years. “Well, first of all, it’s all original music. There’s not a single cover,” she says. “We have to write these songs in like a day or two and then meet with our producers, meet with our directors. Every week, we are producing a full project for people to vote on and decide if they’d listen to it on the radio.”

To make sure her deaf/HOH audiences can feel her songs, she makes sure to “add more bass, guitar, and violin in unique patterns.” She also incorporates “higher pitch sounds with like chimes, bells, and piccolo,” because, she says, they’re easier to feel. “But it’s less about the kind of instrument and more about how I arrange the pattern of the song. Everything I do is to create an atmosphere, a sensation, to make my music a multi-sensory experience.”

She says that working alongside the judges–pop stars Joe Jonas and Becky G, and choreographer Sean Bankhead – has helped expand her artistry. “Joe was really more about the vocal quality and the timber and Becky was really about the passion of [the song] and being convinced this was something you believed in,” she says. “And what was really great about [our choreographer] Sean is that obviously he’s a choreographer to the stars – Lil Nas X, Normani – but he didn’t only focus on choreo, he focused on stage presence, he focused on the overall message of the song. And I think all those critiques week to week helped us hone in on what we wanted to be saying with our next song.”

As her star rises, it’s been both her Muslim faith and her friends, whom she calls “The Glasses Gang” (“because none of us can see!”), that continue to ground her. “The Muslim and the Muslima community have really gone hard [supporting me] and all these people have come together and I truly appreciate them,” Amira says. “I have just been flooded with DMs and emails and texts from [young muslim kids] people who have just been so inspired,” she says. “People who have said they have never seen anything like this, that I embody a lot of the style that they wanted to see and that the message hit them, which is really the most important thing to me.”

A Black woman wears a long, salmon pink hijab, black outfit and pink boots, smiling down at the camera with her arm outstretched to it.

Amira Unplugged

Amira Unplugged / MTV

Throughout the show’s production, she was able to continue to uphold her faith practices with the help of the crew, such as making sure her food was halal, having time to pray, dressing modestly, and working with female choreographers. “If people can accept this, can learn, and can grow, and bring more people into the fold of this industry, then I’m making a real difference,” she says.

Though she didn’t win the competition, this is only the beginning for Amira. Whether it’s on Becoming a Popstar or her videos online, Amira has made it clear she has no plans on going anywhere but up. “I’m so excited that I’ve gotten this opportunity because this is really, truly what I think I’m meant to do.”

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