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nov 4-5, 2017 long beach, ca
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WALE
WALE

WALE

Wale is one of the most idiosyncratic talents in hip-hop after unleashing his distinctive mixtapes in 2005, ultimately releasing his debut album, “ATTENTION DEFECIT,” in 2009. He signed with Maybach Music Group in 2011 and soon unveiled his breakthrough second album, “AMBITION.” Highlighted by such singles as the RIAA gold certified “Lotus Flower Bomb (Feat. Miguel),” the album debuted at #1 on both Billboard’s “Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums” and “Top Rap Albums” charts while also entering at #2 on the overall Billboard “Top 200 Albums” chart. High profile appearances on a variety of MMG releases followed, including label founder Rick Ross’ RIAA gold certified, GRAMMY®-nominated “GOD FORGIVE, I DON’T,” as well as all three volumes of the massively popular “MMG PRESENTS: SELF MADE” series.

The rapper’s third studio album, “THE GIFTED,” was released in June 2013 and proved a milestone, exploding to the #1 spot on the Billboard “Top 200 Albums” chart after its first week of release. What’s more, the album’s lead single, “Bad (Feat. Tiara Thomas),” achieved RIAA platinum certification for sales in excess of 1 million after ascending to the upper reaches of Billboard’s “Hot 100.” 

In addition to the release of “THE ALBUM ABOUT NOTHING,” Wale partook in several high-profiled events at The White House, including First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Reach Higher” initiative for higher education, as well as becoming the first rapper to open the State Of The Union, performing right before President Obama’s final State Of The Union Address. Wale also joined forces with sneaker boutique, Villa, to release a limited edition collection of sneakers including the Asics “Bottle Rocket,” the Timberland “Gift Box Set” and the VILLA x Wale x ASIC Gel Lyte III "IC Champion.” He continues to develop and expand his EVERY BLUE MOON brand that includes musicians, comedians, screenwriters, as well as plans to launch a festival.

Wale showed off his versatility as an artist with the release of his fifth studio album, “SHINE,” earlier this year. The album was preceded by a series of song releases including the RIAA Gold-certified “My PYT,” “Groundhog Day,” “Running Back (Feat. Lil Wayne),” and “Fashion Week (Feat. G-Eazy).” “SHINE” showcases a softer side of the skilled lyricist, with multiple references to his daughter, Zyla. “In contrast to previous albums, which were flush with conceptual risks, reflection and fiery displays of lyricism from a man hell-bent on being crowned as one of the best rappers alive, SHINE finds Wale in a subdued mood and playing it relatively safe,” notes XXL. “SHINE” features collaborations with features from Travis Scott, Lil Wayne, Chris Brown, Major Lazer, G-Eazy, J Balvin and even Wale’s daughter Zyla, to name a few. 

The D.C. native’s 11-city tour, “THE SHINE TOUR,” recently wrapped at the end of May in Boston. Billboard described the high-energy live set as “a hearty showcase that displayed his prowess as an on-stage performer.” The tour brought Wale through major cities including Atlanta, Houston, Los Angeles and New York.

“Five albums in, Wale remains one of the more mercurial talents in rap, with SHINE serving as further evidence of his abilities as an MC and a reminder of his lyrical radiance.” - XXL

Sneaker of the Year

Grand Ballroom

Last year's hottest debate returns in round two of ComplexCon(versations)' Sneaker of the Year. Our host, Joe La Puma, sits down with fellow esteemed sneakerheads to breakdown this year's best drops. From the YEEZY’s to the underdogs, this conversation will countdown 2017’s most noteworthy releases, to ultimately crown Complex’s most prestigious title - Sneaker of the Year.

COMPLEX CON(VERSATIONS) PANELISTS