Wale Makes History As President Obama’s Opening Act For His Final State Of The Union Address
Wale has become a fixture at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. He made his third appearance at the White House in six months last night, where he performed before President Barack Obama’s final State of the Union address. This is the first time that a rapper has ever done this, and Wale took full advantage of the opportunity.
Ever since Obama brushed his shoulders off in 2008, the First Family has made their affinity for hip-hop well known. They’ve campaigned with Jay Z, invited Common in to perform poetry, and added classic songs to their playlists. Obama’s even fired shots at, and made up with, Kanye West over the course of his two terms as President.
Wale’s performance is bittersweet. It’s a great look for hip-hop in general, and for Wale himself. With Meek Mill’s well-documented troubles, and Rick Ross not making much noise with his latest album, you have to count this level of positive exposure as a win for his label, Maybach Music.
But it’s also sad, because it marks the beginning of Obama’s year-long journey out of the White House. Given the current crop of candidates, it’s unlikely that the next President will embrace hip-hop the way he has, and it may be a long time before the genre — born out of poverty and oppression — will achieve this type of presidential resonance again. We should cherish what we had in this President, as it may be the last time we ever experience it.