The only thing more satisfying than securing a bag is securing your sanity, and if you're not careful, the grind will grind you to death, sis; just ask Wale, who says he almost let the industry hustle him out of his peace of mind.
Earlier this month, the 35-year-old rapper, who recently released the critically acclaimed album Wow… That's Crazy, revealed his new love interest IMG model, India Graham, to the gram. But according to him, his newfound romance didn't come without doing some self-work, first. In a recent interview with Variety, the DC-entertainer explained:
"It's hard to love yourself when you've been famous for almost half your life and put so much merit in other people's appreciation of you… or lack thereof, when you're not being appreciated by the same people who made you, essentially. It's easy to fall out of love with yourself."
Drawing inspiration from friends like Issa Rae and Lena Waithe, Wale said that his latest album was his "most personal" project yet and served as a testimony to his journey to healing and self-love. He explained:
"There's a line, I believe it might have been in the season premiere of 'The Chi,' that says, 'Therapy is for white people.' It reminded me of the way we think as a people, and inspired me to get on my writing."
I don't know who needs to hear this, but Black men need self-care, too, and Wale noted that celebrities are not exempt from this fact:
"The first thing you can read in the morning is how trash our president is and what black person was killed today. That's enough to make anybody go crazy or be seeking therapy. Anybody can be triggered at 8:30 in the morning. We just seen a black woman gunned down by a [policeman] [Atatiana Jefferson in Texas], this keeps happening and it's almost like we're desensitized. They're going to do it so much until the whole world is desensitized and it's just like rain: just something normal."
In a recent interview with Ebro Darden, Wale, who is the father of a 3-year-old daughter, explained that his struggle with vulnerability originally started in his childhood and said that growing up in a traditional Nigerian household forced him to develop a less-than-affectionate perspective on parenting:
"It's because I come from—like, my mother never send me to school and kiss me on the cheek or kiss me goodnight. It's really just a fear but also, we love our parents and we respect them but it's more like a 'did you sweep the floor before I come home from work?' 'You ready for school tomorrow?' And it's not putting down my parents because many kids that have parents from other countries, they have different morals."
Although Wale says that while his child's mother has the emotional connection on lock, up until now he's struggled in that department. Since seeking professional help, Wale has grown to learn that he's had to find different ways to connect emotionally with his daughter:
Shannon Finney / Getty
"I never really talk about this with my daughter—but we talk about our kids all the time, personally. My baby mother is an amazing mother. But me, I struggle sometimes. And I didn't know this was going to happen. When you have kids, you don't really even know your true self for real, especially if you have a daughter. I didn't know I was going to struggle connecting emotionally to a baby girl."
"Sometimes how you were raised don't come to fruition until you're raising somebody. I never was like 'ga ga, goo goo' and all that stuff. It's love but how I do it. But the feeling is there."
Featured image by Instagram/@wale.