Wale Pays Respect To Kobe And Houston At His Sold Out Show

Wale performing to a sold out crowd.
Wale performing to a sold out crowd. Photo by Jennifer Lake
After a groovy setup of dance hits from his DJ, rapper Wale emerged from the side stage to one of his most popular hits, “Lotus Flower Bomb.” Slowly dancing toward the crowd, the rapper stopped center stage as the song ended and removed his Versace sunglasses to observe the roaring audience before hopping back into another swinging jam.

The Grammy-nominated artist celebrated his sixth full-length studio release, Wow…That’s Crazy, by finishing out his Everything Is Fine Tour at House of Blues on Sunday night. Clothed in a bright Supreme pullover and the latest Travis Scott Air Force 1’s, the notorious fashion connoisseur took a brief moment to pay respect to his fallen idol, Kobe Bryant, before continuing with his lengthy list of radio-endorsed hits.

“I don’t care if you don’t like basketball or you like a different team,” addressed Wale, “None of that matters; the shit is going to affect all of us. So, before I get emotional and before we start having some real fun, I want us to take a moment of silence for Kobe Bryant.”

The thoughtful gesture was abruptly interrupted by the scream of fan in the distant back, “I love you Wale!” With a roll of his eyes and a chuckle from the crowd the rapper burst back into his set.

With a bare stage lacking any props or extra lights, the rapper who boasts nearly eight million monthly listeners on Spotify, uses only his talents to draw in the audience members. Wale employs his verbal skills to craft technically impressive raps as well as use his down-to-earth presence to cater his conscious, thought provoking verses. With an ability to compose fun dance tunes, “club bangers,” and hard-spitting raps, Wale's set was an exciting roller coaster of music.
click to enlarge Wale dancing and pointing to the crowd. - PHOTO BY JENNIFER LAKE
Wale dancing and pointing to the crowd.
Photo by Jennifer Lake
With all the excitement going on of dancing, twerking, and “flexing for the ‘gram” the show was halted when Wale noticed a security guard grabbing someone from the crowd.

“Hold on, what’s going on over here?” asked Wale as he moved close to realize the guard was lifting a small child out of the crowd. “Nah, go ahead and bring her up here.” demanded the rapper. Handing the little girl, who could be no more than 8, his microphone, the rapper then asked where she was from. After issuing a faint, “Houston, Texas,” the girl was met with deafening cheer.

“You know, there’s a hundred more questions I’d like to ask you but I don’t want to put you on the spot,” teased Wale. “I’m so proud of you and so happy you’re he-, I don’t know how you got in here but I’m so happy you are.” Wale then gave the little fan a hoodie, a hug, and a playful scoot of his foot from afar as he shouted “Now get off the stage!” gaining a chuckle from the crowd.
click to enlarge Wale hugging a fan after gifting her a hoodie. - PHOTO BY JENNIFER LAKE
Wale hugging a fan after gifting her a hoodie.
Photo by Jennifer Lake
Wale played though his most notable songs and verses, throwing in Houston references while he rapped and playing snippets of Houston artist Megan Thee Stallion to pay homage to the city,

“I want to thank you all before we get out of here,” announced the rapper, “it’s because of Houston’s support that we extended the tour so much, it’s because of y’all that Dallas got a show. So, I just want to personally thank y’all. Now, let’s sing the biggest song in the country!” shouted Wale as he continued into his finale “On Chill,” bringing out nearly a dozen fans to dance on stage as the night ended.
click to enlarge The highly fashionable Wale. - PHOTO BY JENNIFER LAKE
The highly fashionable Wale.
Photo by Jennifer Lake
Set List:

1. Lotus Flower Bomb
2. Pole Dancer
4. Break My Heart
5. PYT
6. Debbie
7. That Way
8. The Matrimony
9. Love...
10. Illest Bitch
11. BGM
12. 50 In Da Safe
13. Routine
14. Ambition
15. 90210
16. Need To Know
17. The Break Up Song
18. BAD
19. Pretty Girls
20. Clappers
21. No Hands (Waka Flocka Flame)
22. On Chill
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Houston Press contributor Cameron Martinez uses his extensive knowledge of headbanging and bumping into people to give readers an inside look at the city’s music scene. He often tag-teams shows with his camera-savvy wife Jennifer Lake.