Even when I point out that XXL magazine asked him the same question for a cover story, he responds: "I'm not familiar with that term. Nobody's said that about me."
Yet Wale is keenly aware of his atypical tastes. "I think it goes over a lot of people's heads," he says. "By no means am I comparing myself with Leonardo da Vinci or nothing, but by no means do I understand the significance of the Mona Lisa. But there are millions of people who do, and appreciate that piece of work. So eventually you have to do stuff for the people who appreciate what you do." For the moment, his esoteric creative decisions seem to work, including his widely mimicked freestyles over rock hits like Lily Allen's "Smile." As he says on his 100 Miles and Running mixtape, "Y'all believe me when I do it. Don't sass me for doing it."
Jan. 31, 9 p.m., $15
444 Jessie, SF
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