In an era when critics and rappers themselves jump to declare the death of hip hop, 22 year-old Wale Folarin has been breathing new life into the genre through dazzling wordplay, a fresh sound steeped in DC’s legendary go-go scene, and boundless on-stage energy. 2006 saw Wale conquer DC, Maryland and Virginia with a slew of original radio hits and electrifying shows that solidified his buzz in the Mid-Atlantic. 2007 has been even brighter, with Wale garnering press in The Fader, The New York Times, The Boston Globe, Entertainment Weekly, The Washington Post, The Source, URB, HipHopGame.com, AllHipHop.com, and even a piece on MTV, all without a major label deal. With heavy radio rotation in DC, Maryland and Virginia, along with mixshow spins on both costs, Wale has sold out shows in LA, New York, San Francisco, Philly and Atlanta. Wale has also taken the European music festival circuit by storm, touring with world-famous DJ and superproducer Mark Ronson (Amy Winehouse, Lily Allen). With well over 1 million plays on MySpace, Wale is an organic hip hop and lifestyle phenomenon, and the release of his third and most widely-distributed mixtape, 100 MILES AND RUNNING (15,000+ downloads since July), has taken his global buzz to new heights. Top streetwear label 10Deep has come on as a sponsor of 100 MILES mixtape as well as future apparel collaborations. Starr African Rum, The Hundreds, Jordan Brand and Nike have all co-signed Wale, and he was recently tapped to contribute tracks for albums commemorating the anniversary of the Nike AF1 and BBC’s Radio 1. Every once in a while an artist comes along and completely changes the game: Jay-Z, Nelly, Pharrell, Kanye West. Wale’s got next.