The warm-up to the big event also included an appearance by Vice President Joe Biden and a performance by EL VY. Terrence J, the current co-anchor of E! News introduced Wale. “It’s surreal for me to be able to introduce this guy at the White House who I’ve known for years,” J, who formerly cohosted BET’s 106 & Park, said. “And to do this type of introduction that I would’ve done back then here is an absolute honor for me. He’s gonna have a lot of fun with you guys.”
The D.C.-reared rapper got the crowd going with performances of “Chillin” and “White Shoes,” which he said was a metaphor as he spoke about the loss of friends to gun violence while growing up in the D.C. and Maryland area. He also threw some James Brown moves into the mix.
“The leader of the free world has a rapper in the White House,” Wale remarked. “God bless him. Hip-hop forever.”
Wale is no stranger to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. In July, he participated in First Lady Michelle Obama’s Beating the Odds Summit.
“Make some noise for the Obamas bringing me back to this joint, man,” Wale said. “I never thought that – both of my parents are in Nigeria right now – but I never thought that I would make it to the White House, and this is my third time.”
He also announced that his follow up to last year’s The Album About Nothing will be released this year. Shine will be his fifth album. Wale’s set can be found around the 48:22 mark in the video above.
Wale is not the only rapper who’s worked with the Obamas recently. Kendrick Lamar met with President Obama in the Oval Office. Their discussion was addressed in a video for the Pay It Forward program, which promotes mentoring inner city youth.