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By any objective measure–moral, legal, ethical, the eyes of his horrified mother–the hip-hopper Wale screwed up. Management for the gifted artist best known for his duet with Lady Gaga contracted him to perform at D.C. Black Pride, a 20-year-old festival–for 45 minutes and $18,000. At the last minute, his team backed out, claiming they did not realize Pride was a gay and lesbian event.


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Furious Pride organizers put him on blast in the local media, vowed to explore their legal options, and quickly arranged for another artist, the tatted-out R&B crooner J. Holiday to take his place. In the middle of J. Holiday’s Memorial Day Weekend performance, I watched Wale make an unpaid appearance to do a little damage control. He said once his mother informed him of the controversy which aired on local TV, he immediately came back from his trip to Miami to make things right.

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