Grammy-nominated, multi-platinum rapper Wale will perform at halftime of Washington's Nov. 29 matchup against the Seattle Seahawks. The performance, which will take place under the white-hot lights of Monday Night Football and stand as the marquee event of the team's "Inspire Change" game, has all the makings of for a memorable moment.
And that's just at the outset. Beyond the main stage and song plays a background track -- a steady tune, filled with notes of pride and nostalgia -- that amplifies the special quality of Wale's upcoming FedExField appearance.
Ever since he can remember, Wale has been a Washington Football Team fan. The D.C. native recalls the screams and cheers that filled his childhood home on Sundays as his family rallied around the team. Things weren't always smooth and happy in that one-bedroom apartment on Peabody Street NW as he navigated the challenges of rigidly strict parents and a tough neighborhood. Watching the Burgundy & Gold was a brief respite from the stress and a source of cherished joyful memories.
"I wanted the team to win, just because it was a happier household," Wale explained in 2015. "[They] have always been a part of my life and my heart and I always want them to do well."
That love for Washington's team didn't dissipate when Wale, who got his music career started in the DMV and whose one-of-a-kind sound pays homage to the capital's famous "go-go" music, became a world-famous rapper. His songs "No Pain, No Gain" (2013) and "Lions, Bengals, Bears" (2020) shout out former quarterback Robert Griffin III and current defensive end Chase Young.
More recently, the organization has worked to further strengthen that Wale-Washington tie by tapping into the rapper's fandom and entertainment talents. In 2020, Wale hosted Washington's virtual draft night party. Last year, he narrated the hype video in the leadup to team's Wild Card playoff game.
On Monday night, the self-proclaimed "Ambassador of Rap for the Capital" will take the field to perform for the first time ever in front of his hometown team.
The historic performance comes on the heels of the release of his most recent album, Folarin II, a body of work that samples some of his early hits and plays with the theme of nostalgia. As part of that look-back approach, Wale has turned to the gesture of "giving flowers" -- in person, via song nods -- to significant people in his life, including fellow rap artists, peers and even himself.
On Nov. 29, upon taking the field of his lifelong favorite football team to perform in front of a crowd he shares regional and football loyalties with, he plans to give out some more.
"I want to show my appreciation and give flowers to those who supported me from the very beginning of my career," said Wale of his performance.