We've seen Wale perform so many times since featuring him in F44 that we're well past the paternal conceitedness we once felt so rightfully entitled to. At this point we're just happy he can afford to drape himself in Louis Vuitton sweater/hat combos. Aside from the new digs though, the DMV's greatest hope has also gained many a new friend, displaying a wealth of them last night at Highline Ballroom. Wale was backed by legendary go-go band UCB, who got extra loose during renditions of Junkyard Band's "Sardines," EU's "Da Butt," and their very own (and very amazing), "Sexy Lady." After he warned that it was about to get "real hip hop in here," out jumps Freeway (beard still sticking out) for his verse on "What We Do," followed by Young Chris, who sounded angelic over UCB's rendition of The Young Gunz ski lodge fail-safe, "No Better Love." The three then broke into an impromptu cipher, in which most appropriately both Rhymefest and Craig G could be seen offstage waiting to be waved home. Neither ended up onstage, but before closing things off with "Nike Boots," Wale brought out Ryan Leslie for "Addicted," finally apologizing for being a "cheater." Apology accepted. Also in attendance were 9th Wonder and (in a well protected VIP area) ex-Def Jam president, Jay-Z.
December 10, 2008