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His blogosphere reception has been nothing short of rapturous, at least partly because he raps over beats culled from popular indie artists like Justice and Lily Allen. And he seems to be aware of this appeal, having told Entertainment Weekly's blog last year: "Lily + Ronson + Wale = blogger's wet dream."
"I feel like bloggers are just a representation of people," he says now, speaking from L.A., where he's working on his debut album, due out early next year. "It's more representative of the average person than television."
Wale is trying to break new ground by merging radio-friendly jams with a hipster's sensibility. While The Mixtape About Nothing is ostensibly about his Seinfeld obsession — Julia Louis-Dreyfus even gives him a shoutout on it — its underlying message concerns the inanity of most mainstream rap. "Most people like stuff that's not really about anything," he says of snap music fans and the like. "I'm trying to poke fun — trying to throw them off a little bit."
It sounds like a bit of a tightrope act, trying to appeal to a wide audience while simultaneously making fun of them. But even if Wale falls, he will be fun to watch. BEN WESTHOFF