Prepping for his fourth return to the Summer Jam stage for the 20th anniversary of the show this Saturday (June 2), Wale and the Black, Rican, Jew crew (K. Foxx, Cipha Sounds, Peter Rosenberg and Program Director, Ebro) talked about the legendary "surprises" the stage has seen and joked about who Wale could bring out — Fred Hammond, Beres Hammond, Michael Jackson hologram?
While Wale never announced what he has planned, after a bit of pressing, he did let loose that his next album, The Gifted (dropping June 25), will feature a strip-club anthem "Clappers" with none other than Nicki Minaj.
Nicki famously walked away from performing at last year's Summer Jam after Rosenberg accidentally insulted her by saying her "Starships" song was not hip hop enough. Rosenberg and Nicki made peace earlier this week, and he invited her to come watch the show. She's not billed for this year, but maybe that will be Wale's surprise.
Or, it could be Rihanna. The Bad Gal's remix of his "Bad" track featuring Tiara Thomas is slated for the new album, and from what Ebro heard, Ri Ri is rhyming a bit on it. "It's dope," Ebro said.
"It's a new song, though," Wale said. "We really wanted to do the remix the right way … not just verses from everybody."
"This is the most hands on I've ever been [with an album]," he continued. "From every string arrangement, the level of the vocals that you hear, the way you hear the music, the way it's structured, it really tells a story, like, I'm ending songs where you can hear the bass from the next song, where you can hear faintly the hook from the next song coming in."
Speaking of Thomas, Wale said that she's found a "situation." Although it's not with him (despite a couple of years of industry friendship and mentoring), he wishes her well. "I was a casualty of the game," he said, noting that the two never signed "paperwork."
"Shout out to Tiara Thomas, though, she's a dope artist, she's an incredible artist … I kick myself before I complain about somebody else."
He refused to answer whether or not she will be at Summer Jam, but there will be a live band — he's known to travel with his hometown sound by way of go-go band UCB, who he brought out on stage at the 2009 MTV Music Video Awards.