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Wale Speaks On New Mixtape, Enlists Beanie Sigel & Slaughterhouse For “Good Ol’-Fashioned Hip-Hop Music”

With Wale’s new mixtape Back To The Feature set for release tomorrow (June 19), chopped it up with the DC MC about the delay, as well as the collabo-heavy focus on the follow-up to his critically acclaimed Mixtape About Nothing.

“I kinda treat my mixtapes like albums in that I don’t rush ‘em out,” the XXL Freshman alumnus said in regards to the year-long wait for his latest tape.” “You don’t wanna oversaturate, for one. Two, at the same time, I’m working on my debut album, Attention Deficit—I put a lot of energy towards that—as well as a really intricate road show. So a lot of those things were happening and I had just signed my deal—I announced ‘Back To The Feature’ before I signed with Interscope.”

The tape features guest spots from a laundry list of lyricists, such as Bun B, Beanie Sigel, Young Chris, Talib Kweli, Royce Da 5’9, Joe Budden, Joell Ortiz, and Jean Grae. Some include Roc Nation and Allido affiliates but some collabos seemed to come out of left field. “In hip-hop, it’s like artists have a secret world—it’s like a club,” he explained. “There’s a lot of people that don’t like each other and they don’t make it public and it’s not no nobody’s business. There’s a lot of people who are cool with each other who don’t make it public because there’s no need.”

Yet, the rapper didn’t consider any of the high-profile collabos for his upcoming debut studio album. “We knew exactly what it was,” he said. “It ain’t overly thought out like The Mixtape About Nothing. It’s competitive—everybody’s trying to spit. We’re not going at each other or nothing. I texted Royce like, ‘Yo, send me this, but don’t kill me on this joint.’ So I know if I’ma do a record with Royce, I gotta come with it. Or when Joe Budden was in the studio with me, he was like, ‘Yeah, you had me, but I dropped this line so I might’ve got you.’”

“It’s just competition—it’s just what makes hip-hop good,” he continued. “And I think a lot of that went out the window. It ain’t nothing DJs can play in the club. It’s something the DJ wants to go home from the club and want to listen to in his whip just to hear good ol’-fashioned hip-hop music—a little bit of boom-bap, you know.”

Back To The Feature hits the web tomorrow (Friday), with a Twitter listening session hosted by the rapper @Wale. - Devin Chanda

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