Wale has always been a political musician, and given the opportunity to call out injustice or hypocrisy, he doesn't hesitate. Backstage at Summer Jam 2018, the 33-year-old hip hop heavyweight took his chance to beef with The Breakfast Club's Charlamagne Tha God over the radio host's affiliation with Kanye West.
West grabbed headlines earlier this year for controversial statements made during and directly after an extensive interview with Charlamagne. The artist notoriously expressed his support for President Trump and disparaged former President Obama in the infamous interview, and later claimed that black slavery in America was a choice.
"When you hear about slavery for 400 years ... For 400 years? That sounds like a choice," West explained. "You were there for 400 years and it's all of y'all. It's like we're mentally imprisoned."
Backstage at Summer Jam, DJ Envy of The Breakfast Club asked Wale when fans can expect new music, but the artist wanted to talk about a few things first: "I'm still cookin' man. I've got some things to talk about. I've got some people to talk to... Mr. West."
As Charlamagne and DJ Envy nodded along with the MC, expecting a critique of Kanye West's inflammatory statements on slavery, Wale lowered his glasses: "No I'm looking at you," he said, addressing Charlamagne directly.
The Breakfast Club hosts, surprised by the accusation, attempted to diffuse the situation and turn the conversation to Charlamagne's obsession with Yeezys, Kanye's footwear line.
Wale played along for a few moments, before making things personal again: "I might not agree with some of the things that people..."
"You didn't agree with the 'slavery was a choice' comment," Charlamagne interrupted.
"I'm talking about you," Wale corrected. "You know how I feel. I'm just saying, you've gotta be a different type of person to say some of the things that Charlamagne be saying and rock them jumps."
"He rock them jumps with the Howard University jump, the Luke Cage hat, the Barack Obama merch," he continued, teasing Charlamagne's two-faced fashion sense.
"Listen," the host pushed back. "Kanye's making Adidas great again man, okay?"
The hosts and Wale attempted to laugh off the confrontation, but eventually, the racial undertones of the interview came back as the pair traded jabs about Charlamage's affinity for the Dallas Cowboys and Wale's support of the Washington Redskins.
All in all, this seems like good-natured ribbing between industry professionals. But it's hard not to watch the interview and get the sense that there was a bit of truth behind Wale's pointed critique of Charlamagne's sneaker choice.
Check out the interview below and decide for yourself.
(Photo: Richard Knowles/iHeartMedia)