Wale recently discussed Jay Z’s influence and status in Hip Hop. During the interview, Wale also talked about learning from Jay Z’s success.

“Jay Z?” Wale said during an interview with XXL. “Greatest to ever do it. Hands down. No debate. If you debate, you’re really just mad. You got some kinda inner joint, but he knows it though. I think that’s the greatest thing about knowing him is like, being around somebody who knows. It’s just like when Steve Young learned from Joe Montana.” 

Wale also explained how Vol. 2…Hard Knock Life influenced him during his teen years. He specifically discussed the impact of “Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem).”



“I remember hearing it on [Washington, D.C. radio station] PGC long ago,” Wale said. “I think I was in middle school, eighth [grade] or something like that, and I remember listening to that joint, and I just remember ‘Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem)’ being on the radio, and I was just like, ‘Yo, I’ve never heard anything like this ever.’ Like, that hook [‘Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem)’], I didn’t even really know what it was saying, but that mothafucka was so cold, man.” 

Wale Says Jay Z’s “Hard Knock Life” Would Be Considered “Backpack” Today

Although he said he appreciated the album, Wale decided not to rate it for the magazine, opting to discuss how the album might be perceived today. 



“I just think it was a different time,” Wale said. “You can’t even really rate no more ’cause the scale have just went like that. That would be considered a backpack record right now. Process that. Like, that would be considered an outright backpack record. No street niggas would rap on that right now. Not one. That was his most selling album ’cause of that song. ’Cause niggas wasn’t buying singles, like a lot of mothafuckas was like, ‘I wanna hear the Annie song.’ And the album, that album was dark. ‘Money, Cash, Hoes,’ and all that.” 

Jay Z’s Vol 2…Hard Knock Life was released in 1998. It featured the songs “Can I Get A…” featuring Amil and Ja Rule and “Money Ain’t a Thing” featuring Jermaine Dupri. The album featured production from DJ Premier, Kid Capri, Stevie J, Timbaland and The 45 King. 

Wale recently appeared in Jay Z’s “Picasso Baby: A Performance Art Film.” Wale’s cameo in the short film can be viewed below.

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