What to Know About Wale and Lil Yachty

By Lydia L. Cawley

It was recently announced that Wale and Lil Yachty will be headlining Yardfest this year, a marked difference from the EDM music of the past two years. People seem to be pretty excited, but you don’t know who these people are; you’re classy and listen to the lyrically complex musings of artists like Halsey. Never fear, we’ve got you.


Now why, you might be wondering, would someone misspell ‘whale’ so badly, and why, you might continue, would they want to be called that? Well, good news, that’s not what happened. Wale is not pronounced like “whale,” nor is it pronounced like “Wall-E.” The proper pronunciation is“wah-lay.” Now that we’ve got that cleared up, who is he?

Born and raised in Washington, D.C. (the 202!) to parents who immigrated from Nigeria, Wale went to college at Robert Morris College and Virginia State on football scholarships, eventually transferring to Bowie State. He gained success in the DMV in the early 2000s, eventually signing with Interscope in 2008. Since then, he has featured on a number of hits including “No Hands” by Waka Flocka Flame, and “Ride Out” from the Furious 7 soundtrack. He’s got two #1 albums to his name, and his most recent release was the EP, It’s Complicated, in March 2018.

Wale makes the kind of rap you can actually dance to with go-go inspired rhythms, but doesn’t cut corners when it comes to his lyrics. Get excited.

Lil Yachty

Memorable for more than just his stage name and trademark red-beaded hair, Lil Yachty has taken off with what he describes as “bubblegum trap.” His playful lyrics and brighter, colorful sound have found success in songs like “Minnesota” (yes, the one from the Sprite commercial), Chance the Rapper’s “Mixtape,” KYLE’s “iSpy,” and the Grammy-nominated “Broccoli.”

From Mableton, Ga., Lil Yachty first achieved success when his song “1 Night” blew up on SoundCloud. He debuted as a model at Kanye West’s Yeezy Season 3 fashion show at Madison Square Garden in February 2016. Lil Yachty’s mixtape, Lil Boat was released shortly thereafter in March 2016, and he signed a joint record deal with Quality Control Music, Motown Records, and Capitol Records in June. His most recent releases are Lil Boat 2 and “Gucci Flip Flops” with Bhad Bhabie.

In short, it’s gonna be lit. And if you still aren’t convinced, well, you’re probably going to be drunk anyway, and drunk you is going to have a great time.

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