Music Review: Wale – Ambition
Wale Folarin is an interesting case. Hailing from the DMV, he seemed to have been destined for stardom for years now. In 2008, he was signed to Interscope Records for $1.3 million. He was co-signed by Jay-Z and is currently being managed by Roc Nation. Wale has received national recognition in many media outlets before even dropping his first album, which included being in the Washington Post and a cover spot on URB with French electro group Justice. His mixtapes have been solid, including his Mixtape About Nothing, which was inspired by his appreciation for Seinfeld show.
Then Attention Deficit dropped and it didn’t sell units to match the hype. Despite getting good reviews and his first single featuring Lady Gaga, the album was under shipped. With this in mind, Wale went back to work and is now a member of Rick Ross’ Maybach Music Group. His buzz is as big as its ever been and it doesn’t hurt to have a hip hop heavyweight (no pun intended) such as Ross in your corner. Now Mr. Folarin is here to drop Ambition.
The first thing I noticed while listening to this album is Wale’s renewed vigor on songs. He sounds hungry, with a chip on his shoulder to prove that he is still the star that Interscope saw when he was signed. Compared to Attention Deficit, this album is closer to the sound that his fans are used to hearing from all his mixtapes. The Go-Go influence is apparently in songs such as “Double M Genius” with the horns blaring and a futuristic sound that seems reminiscent of a Sonic The Hedgehog video game level. “Chain Music” is another great track that will surely get the clubs popping. With his strong female fan base, Wale was sure to please them and might potentially turn off the “hip hop purist”. The songs, however, work well, as “Lotus Flower Bomb”, “White Linen” and “That Way” are smooth and add to the MMG music mantra.
What’s respectable about Wale is that he’s an artist in which he won’t too many rap features on his projects. It gives the listener more of Wale’s solid lyrical dexterity and isn’t drowned in a compilation of all different styles. With this being said, the title track is one of the highlights of the album, which showcases his crew mates Meek Mill and Rick Ross trading bars over a dark but head knocking instrumental. Ross’ delivery and voice commands the track, but Wale demonstrates he isn’t no slouch as he states “but I’m limitless mentally, I’m lyrically the emcee, Lebron s***, I was in the 6 after 23”
If there were any criticisms to be had about Ambition it would have to be Wale’s delivery and flow. It’s not terrible, but it can use some work and it can hinder a few tracks on here (Sabotage with crooner Lloyd comes to mind). I also could do without “Slight Work” which is just a disaster of a track and makes me wonder what yes man said this was okay for it to leave the studio. Mr. Folarin has dodged the dreaded sophmore jinx in my opinion. He delivers one of the best commercial hip hop albums of the year. His ambition, as he would say, is flawless.
-Rehab (be sure to tune into my show Marauder Sounds every Wednesday at 10pm)