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Wale often embraces the role of the underdog, but in all actuality, he’s quite successful. With his third studio album, The Gifted, in stores today, the DMV native sat with Peter Bailey to discuss reviving Hip-Hop’s soul, why he still isn’t comfortable with his celebrity status, being emotional in his music, and more.

The Nitecap host kicked off the conversation by revisiting a topic the two discussed during their last encounter: The “LoveHate Thing” rapper’s fear of fame.

“That’s 70 percent of the reason why I drink or smoke,” said Wale, who doesn’t feel comfortable when people treat him like more than a human being. “I still have a hard time dealing with the way people look at me.”

He continued, “I can go in a room, the same rooms I used to go into four years ago, and now it’s silence, weirdness, giggling, and snapping of the pictures.”

According to Wale, he’d much rather the emphasis be on the music than his celebrity. “We to enamored with things outside of the actual message,” he explained. “That’s what I came here for. I’m trying to tell you about something. I’m trying to go from state to state or city to city to tell you about my message.”

The Grammy nominee assures that all of that is encompasses The Gifted. That’s available on iTunes now. Hear Wale speak more below.

Photo: YouTube