Wale Joins Jay-Z’s North American College Arena Tour

58207930After being hailed as “the greatest new rapper since Jay-Z” (GQ, June 2009), Wale will be featured on hip-hop giant Jay-Z’s new tour North American College Arena Tour. The tour will make 24 stops at a mix of college campus arenas and traditional venues across North America kicking off at Penn State University on October 9th. To coincide with that exposure, Attention Deficit (Allido/Interscope), the much-anticipated debut album from Wale–the first D.C. rapper to gain national attention in more than a decade–will be released November 10, 2009. Wale, who most recently performed as the house band with legendary go-go band UCB at the VMAs, has been catapulted onto hip-hop’s center stage.

The 25-year-old D.C.-born son of Nigerian immigrants, Wale previously issued a series of acclaimed, go-go/rap mash-up mixtapes that gained notice and airplay in the DMV (D.C.-Maryland-Virginia) and beyond. In 2007 super producer Mark Ronson–responsible for new luminaries such as Amy Winehouse–began playing Wale’s “Good Girls” on his East Village radio show. Soon after, Ronson added Wale to a remix of Lily Allen’s bubbly pop record “Smile” and recruited him for a U.K. tour for his latest album. Wale also turned “D.A.N.C.E.” from French electro-house stars Justice into a hip-hop banger renamed “W.A.L.E.D.A.N.C.E.,” which he performed at the 2007 VMAs.In 2008 Ronson signed Wale to his and Rich Kleiman’s Allido Records and subsequently to its joint venture with Interscope. That year, Wale appeared on The Roots’ single “Rising Up” from their Rising Down album before remixing his own “Nike Boots” track to feature Lil’ Wayne. Most recently, Wale inked a co-management deal with Jay-Z’s Roc Nation and this summer headlined his first tour, which sold out a number of venues.

Along with Ronson (“Mirrors” feat. Bun B, “90210”), producers on Attention Deficit include Cool and Dre (“Chillin'” and “World Tour”), Dave Sitek of TV On The Radio (“Warrior” feat. K’Naan), Sean C and LV (“OG”), and Sleepwalkers (“Diary” feat. Marsha Ambrosius).

Proclaimed “The Great Rap Hope” by The Washington Post (October 2007), Wale fulfills his promise as an innovative new voice in hip-hop with Attention Deficit.

Pictured: Rapper Wale performs at the Virgin Mobile FreeFest on August 30, 2009 in Columbia, Maryland. The music festival gave away all 35,000 tickets for free. (Photo by Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images)