WaleWale is the biggest name in Rick Ross' Maybach Music Group, a collective that also features rappers Meek Mill and Pill. However, on Wale's current Ambition tour, he's not recruiting his label mates to open the gigs and boost their own status. Instead, he's letting the crowd pick the music. Wired reports that the social music site Turntable.fm, which allows users to switch off playing handpicked tunes by using an avatar DJ, will be utilized to set the mood at venues prior to Wale taking the stage. And in our concert-going experience, a hip-hop show has never, ever started at the advertised time, so helping to DJ the concert should help kill precious minutes off the wait.
Turntable.fm was regarded as the hot new social music site when it arrived on the scene in July (The Amp loved it), but the U.S. launch of Spotify and that service's connectivity with Facebook has lessened Turntable's impact. While music fans haven't flocked to Turntable as anticipated, artists themselves love the site; Diplo used it to debut new music, and more and more musicians have begun using the site thanks to verified accounts like Twitter offers. "I think artists love Turntable because it gives them an intimate way to interact with their fans," Turntable co-founder Billy Chasen told Wired. "It's like showing up at a small venue and surprising everyone with a show, except they get to chat with everyone during the show. It turns fans into super-fans." Maybe this Wale move will propel the site from a fad back to a routinely visited service.
People at the show -- using a mobile app -- or Wale fans at home can spin in the designated Turntable room, but it'll be a heated competition for the decks since only three spots (instead of the max five) are available for the taking. This inventive opening act strategy does come with some unspoken concert etiquette: Just as it's lame to wear the shirt of the band you're going to see, it's also frowned upon to spin Wale before the rapper's concert. While it would be an amazing prank to force the audience to listen to Creed's "With Arms Wide Open," it'd be wise to carefully scrutinize your selections. Because if you pick wrong, the crowd will definitely know. So the next time you're at a Wale gig and Nate Dogg and Snoop Dogg's "Never Leave Me Alone" comes blasting out the speakers, just remember that was The Amp's doing.