DC rapper says gentrification a reminder to black community ‘that this ain’t our country’


Washington, D.C.-based rapper Wale said in an interview that aired Tuesday on “Rising” that gentrification serves as a reminder to African Americans that the U.S. isn’t their country. 

“It’s kind of a reminder five-, 400 years later that this ain’t our country,” Wale told Hill.TV’s Jamal Simmons. “It’s ain’t [their country], but they made it [their country] in some kind of way.”

“It’s a lot of entitlement going on, and there’s really nothing we can do,” he added. “I wish I could just be like ‘yo, if I had a gazillion dollars, I’ll stop it.'” 

Wale is a part of Washington’s decades-old “go-go” music scene, which mixes blues, funk and hip-hop. 

Go-go musicians and supporters, including Wale, have been on the front lines in the fight against gentrification in the nation’s capital.

The music has been played at various protests after a MetroPCS vendor that often played go-go music in Washington’s Shaw neighborhood was forced to stop playing the music after a noise complaint from a neighboring luxury apartment building. 

Wale weighed in on Twitter, saying “This is wild to me. U knew what u signed up for.”



“At the end of the day, they can’t take the spirit of the city,” Wale told Simmons. “They can’t take the soul of the city.”

— Julia Manchester

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