Wale threatened to assault Complex staff Wednesday (December 11). He was upset that the publication omitted his The Gifted album from its “50 Best Albums of 2013” list.

Wale said he would visit Complex offices to knock people out and recommended that the publication have security guards on-hand for his arrival. Today, shortly after the phone conversation recording was published by Complex, Insanul Ahmed, who spoke with Wale in the phone call, discussed the threats with HipHopDX.  

“Wale did not come to our office,” Ahmed says. “We reached out to Wale’s publicist and management and offered that he could come to our office for a sit-down, on-camera interview where he could vent his frustrations to create a more constructive dialogue about our list. In the end, the camp declined our offer.”  

Wale’s camp also declined an interview with HipHopDX regarding the matter. 

During the phone conversation with Complex, Wale said that the publication had a personal issue with him. He said that he felt was excluded from many lists that the site creates, saying that the personal issue is “petty.” 

“Complex has no grudge against Wale or any other artist,” Ahmed says. “Wale is an active, relevant artist and someone we have always covered and will continue to cover. He’s made many of our lists in the past. On a more personal note, I have advocated for his music many times in the office and outside. Funny thing is, Wale made this accusation before and back in 2011, I sat down with Wale and talked to him for several hours. I felt like we had worked out whatever issues it was back then.” 

In his original report, Ahmed named and linked to several Complex lists that Wale has been included in. 

Earlier this year, Nipsey Hussle was not pleased with a Complex list that featured him and other emcees the publication deemed “underachieving rappers.”

“Who is an editor to have an opinion on a street nigga?” Hussle said. “Bottom line. Those editors don’t live this life. They don’t go through the struggle. I’m from the Rolling 60s, my nigga. They don’t understand what putting an album out is to me.” 

Ahmed says that he understands the artists who have been upset with media lists. 

“Anyone who’s an artist and creates a piece of art wants recognition for what they create,” Ahmed says. “So I totally understand someone’s frustrations for being left out of a list or an award shows nomination. But look at the way Lil Wayne—who also didn’t make our albums list—handled being left out of the BET and VMA nods earlier this year; he took it as a cue to work harder. There’s a lesson there.” 

Ahmed’s Lil Wayne reference is from August, when the rapper promised fans he’d ramp up his productivity. 

Although Wale has declined interview requests, he addressed the situation via Instagram. 

He posted a video where he mentions Complex and says he has a tool with him. The tool is revealed to be a laptop. 

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