By Ahriel Nari
Everyone knows the only way to spend New Year’s Day in the DMV is to go to the annual Wale & Friends show. So, it was to no surprise that the 10th annual Wale & Friends sold out.
The beauty of the Wale & Friends show is in the “& friends.” Wale has always looked out and provided a platform for fellow artists in the DC metropolitan area. It’s astounding to even bear witness to such unity of raw talent in one area. The night began with Flex Kartel, who also brought out Adé (formerly Phil Adé) to amp the crowd up. Next, Beau Young Prince lit up the stage, performing hits including “Kill Moe” and “True Blues”. Then, Big Flock had the Fillmore jumping, as audience members sang along to his classic verse on “Too Much Remix”.
After much anticipation, Wale blessed the stage. He immediately cranked hit after hit. From “Bait” to “Poledancer”, from “Clappers” to “Pretty Girls”, the audience sang their hearts out along with Wale. Tonight’s show also doubled as a stop on Wale’s Wow…That’s Crazy Tour. So, the crowd was also treated to songs from his latest album, such as “BGM”, “50 in Da Safe’”, and “Sue Me.” Wale even brought out fellow DMV artist Mannywellz to perform their song “Love & Loyalty”
The new music from Wow… That’s Crazy fit seamlessly in his set in between his older songs, woven like a beautiful tapestry representing the span of his career. At the peak of your enjoyment, right when you realize just how impressive Wale’s discography is, he announced that this would be his last Wale & Friends at the Fillmore Silver Spring. At first, that sounded like terrible news. However, Wale further explained that he’s just outgrown The Fillmore and, in the interest of his growth, he needs to be in bigger venues. Honestly, he’s absolutely right. There is no reason Wale – with all of the success he has reached and a catalogue overflowing with hits – should not be performing in arenas and stadiums, especially at home. So, while I was saddened by the news that Wale would no longer be performing at the Fillmore, I was also proud to see a hometown hero grow in his music journey. Wale & Friends at The Fillmore was truly an era. Experience the 10th Annual Wale & Friends through the pictures below: