Wale went nuts on a blonde chick who blew a massive cloud of smoke in his face ... what's not clear is why they were both so pissed.
The rapper was on his way out of Bootsy Bellows Tuesday night, following the woman and her friends. Watch how it plays out -- it appears Wale said something that rubbed her the wrong way ... she barked, "Are you really following me?"
That's when things went downhill fast, with Wale getting a little physical ... with her food.
We got Wale -- with his baby girl -- on "TMZ Live" Wednesday where he told us the food smackdown was triggered by the woman dropping a "you people" insult on him. He says he'd never hit a girl, but at the time he didn't think the woman deserved to eat ...