Wale continues to be the subject of much debate, as the socially-conscious emcee signed to Rick Ross’ Maybach Music Group. In an interview on NBC’s Nitecap, however, Wale defended his alignment with Ross.

“That dude is a genius,” said Wale of the Bawse. “I don’t care what anybody say. That’s my brother. He’s a genius. I’ve seen him work from the business side, I’ve seen him work on the street side. People don’t know Ross, man. They think, ‘Oh, C.O.’ I know C.O.s, dog. The dude’s gettin’ the money doing that other thing. I know that! We come from that. I’m not by any means a trap dude, but I know that. My best friend doin’ six, got six left to do.”

“That’s what the most important thing is. Someone that you can look them in the eye and say, ‘I put my heart and soul into this album. I want you to put it out – as is.’ I never had that luxury,” said Wale, referring to creative differences with the management at Interscope records. “With my previous situation, people wanted the luxury to say, ‘But you didn’t do this, but you didn’t do that.’ …They tell me ten things, and I do nine of them, and when their plan didn’t work, they blame it on the one thing I didn’t do.”

Regardless of past difficulties, words from Jay-Z helped “I was with Jay – I hate to name-drop, but I wanna show my man some love – he mentioned ‘Gunplay,’ ‘I like what “Gunplay” doin’.’ That…stuff like that makes me…we winning!”

Watch the interview below:

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