It’s usually really hard for me to listen to Wale cos he either sounds boring or conflicted. He used to be known as this DC rapper that spits knowledge but then he joined MMG and what he was spitting didn’t add up to his new lifestyle. His last album, Ambition, was just about 30% good and didn’t live up to expectation. Let’s hope this one does. [You just can’t give a nigga credit can you?]
The curse of the Gifted
I eat this game and shit this out
My dirty drawers got winning streaks
The title of the song is rather self explanatory and a twist of Hov’s “the gift and the curse”. The song starts off with a couple of dudes spraying a statue of Wale (that’s probably sometime in the future). Not a great song but a good enough start to the album with Wale’s live band providing the instrumentals. [This is just some background music basically].
LoveHateThing ft Sam Dew
Listen when you get the keys it’s seldom, you don’t get the beef
Make a nigga wanna get the piece to get to peace
Like the first line says, this song was inspired by Marvin Gaye. This is about how you can’t be loved by all and even the people that hate you with still hate you at some point. This is a strong track which is sort of a throwback to the mixtape Wale days. I guess this is the New Black Soul that he has been hyping so much. Really good track with Wale’s regular flow.
Before I love a industry girl I’ll marry civilian
Picture a young, rich former taking me serious
This song has Wale going back to his poetic style which gets really boring really fast but on this one, he is able to keep it lively with the drums and that dope-ass chorus.
Heaven’s Afternoon ft Meek Mill
Been a week since he seen his mother
And 18 since he seen the other
I was so fresh, so clean when I stepped on that scene
Pulled up Aston Martin, you could ask them ya’ll seen
Born to lose, built to win. Wale believes that line can sum up his whole career cos even though he had all the odds stacked against him, he was still able to make it in rap.
The Good Book said praise
But you so stuck in your ways
You got my image appraised
Wale’s own ode to Jesus Pieces and jewelry in general (everyone has their own Jesus Piece song now). His own ode presents a more introspective view into hip hop’s obsession with rocking gold chains. A strong track. It is told from the perspective of Jesus [now that’s daring, gotta respect that] .(For another example of a track where Wale raps like this, jam RATHER BE ft JCole and Curren$y where they all rap about box/puss). This song deserves more than a couple of replays. [sadly as dope as this track is, it’s the shortest; of all the tracks to cut short].
Ya ain’t pay up for no pussy but you pay for what she see
This song tho. He uses this song-like flow on this that just goes in perfectly with the beat and the overall feel of the song. As the title indicates, it is a song about Vanity. [for me wale doesn’t do too much on the track, he just allows the flow of the music do the work and he goes with that flow, it’s just him vibing out on a sampled track].
Gullible ft CeeLo Green
What if they told you this music was bogus?
The government run it, they controllin’ the culture
We all know TV killed the Radio. Imagine a time where you didn’t need to see how an artiste looked before deciding he was good, where reputation was based solely on flow. A really good song with CeeLo singing some angelic stuff on the chorus. This song has Wale talking about how the media has affected the society and the way people think. [the idea appears pretty golden, good stuff, I like the way he expresses the idea but he doesn’t exactly kill the track as I would have wanted]
Bricks ft Lyfe Jennings and Yo Gotti
Can’t shoot, can’t dribble, can’t rap
Young nigga don’t got no options
First time I heard bricks, I was thinking construction
Until my ‘migo plug from Mexicó gave me my introduction (now)
This song is about the boom in dope peddling and how he tried to keep himself above it due to the fact that he can actually rap. Yo Gotti surprised me with his verse on this one, I was expecting total lil-wayne-like crap but his verse was like a brief Autobiography of Yo Gotti. Another really good song.
Clappers ft Juicy J and Nicki Minaj
And I ain’t hating mama, fact I wanna take your number
Said you save yo bread from Magic something happened then went Voila!
Your chick to be, I be a getting her pregnant in her throat
Got ass for days, come activate
This ass on fire evacuate
Throw that ass in the air, evaporate
At last! This is the first party track on this album and it’s really good despite the verse from Nicki Minaj. Juicy J’s verse isn’t that good [it’s never really supposed to be] but on a party beat, it just works. [You cannot make songs like this without including Juicy J, and wale makes that work for him, good track]
Bad Remix ft Rihanna
You froze with it, you try and play Sub Zero I be Scorpion
Pshh get over here today
Smellin’ like Jean Paul, got the ye
This song has already been remixed once so I don’t really think this remix is of much use as it is. It’s a good track anyway just not as good as the original. [I was expecting that, but truth is this Is a very well remixed track, the texture in Rihanna’s voice was lovely and the way they blended in the song just makes it dope, and I’m not even gonna compare it to the original, same song but just different].
Tired of Dreaming ft Neyo and Rick Ross
And no, I won’t OD, you’ll get D, young as 19
I believe age is for math, all I need is chemistry
Bonita Applebaum – my strawberry letter
Love Potion #9, this shit’s a gifted era
Another good track which would be pretty average if not for the chorus by Neyo. [mostly cos it’s more of an RnB ft Rap song and that should be the other way, doesn’t feel right]. Not the best verse from Wale but Rozay’s verse has to count as one of his best (I guess whoever wrote that was paid 5 figures).
Rotation ft Wiz Khalifa and 2chainz
I define the odds, 2 Glock nines is my body guards
Ain’t nothing slick to a can of oil
A nigga like me don’t smoke blunts so I keep those joints in rotation
Bad bitches calling the radio, keep my joints in rotation
Keep throwing money on her ass, she keep that joint in rotation
First I’m in a car and then another car, I keep them joints in rotation
Like a nigga out the globe, with a nigga throwed
Like a cornerback in the flat, nigga in the zone
An ode to the sacred leaf with Wiz Khalifa and 2chainz. 2chainz spits his regular “2 bracelets,4 chains” stuff and Wiz Khalifa spits his regular “rhyme with one word 5 times” stuff (although Khalifa’s style works this type cos he uses “joints in rotation” in four different ways). A good track. [good blunt music]
Ayo I’m goin places, Dior Homme lacin all occasions
And Lord gave me amazing thinking and short patience
This song was usually produced by Wale himself and the beat is aiite with a slow first verse and a sped up second verse. You have to jam it to believe it cos I even thought this song would be crap cos of the title and the fact that it was produced by Wale. Pleasant surprise. [he samples Pac on this and well he doesn’t quite cut it for me, it’s not bad but it’s really good].
They tryna see me fail
Just know my thinking and my sneakers rare
Get that Chi-Town love, I’m in Leaders gear
This track talks about Wale’s spectacular sneaker game. This track also compares Wale’s career to that of one of the greatest: Michael Jordan [lol he’s trippin on his laces] (I actually consider him the fifth greatest after Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain, Larry Bird and Magic Johnson).[like how is this relevant to us?][only thing I really enjoyed about this track were the instrumentals, Awesome shii].
This cold poet just throw up quotables to give em hope
Go and slow up haters train of thoughts with brain storms
This song has Wale concentrating more on the lyrical aspect of music as this song plays without a readymade or commercial-like chorus. If this is what we’re to expect from the album about Nothing then this is a sign of good things to come.
The outro about nothing serves as the intro to Wale’s second album of 2013. The white dude speaking is Jerry Seinfeldof Seinfeld fame and the inspiration behind Wale’s breakout EP.
Bad ft Tiara Thomas
She hurt feelings, she break hearts
She stay quiet, she play smart
She take pride, in going out
Getting hollered at, and saying nah
The original bad that samples an old Tiara Thomas song (meaning Rihanna’s song was the RIHmix of the remix of the sampled mix of the original). Another good track that is prolly better suited to the ladies.
While he has appered to have lost some parts of his former self, he has improved on the parts he has left and added to that. He’s still the type of guy who wears too much cologne, but at least he’s figured out the scent that works best for him.
This album is surprisingly good but that might be because I expected absolutely nothing from him on this album [you should be ashamed of yourself]. This album was the last one I downloaded of all the Albums released in June and it took me even longer to actually listen to it. The production on this is also pretty good but the major part of this is the wordplay and delivery which he does so well on most of the tracks.
This album presents a more mature side to Wale’s media persona. It’s a return to the introspective,thoughtful and somewhat wiser Wale. Even though the album is 16 tracks long, it doesn’t feel too long at all. Instead, it feels a bit short. Some tracks were not needed at all eg Bad or Bad Remix (Bad was already on FOLARIN) and some songs just need a particular mood to be enjoyed.
[The album is actually pretty long cos most of the tracks take longer than they should( some became a drag towards their ends) and that kinda brings a drawback to the whole vibe of the album. Also, this album has some really good collabos which even goes kinda unnoticeable cos there very few rappers he worked with o this. The album is like in two phases, first you get the whole soulful instrumental thing going for like the first 7 tracks on the album and then it just kinda switches to a more urban ‘MMG’ feel for another 6 tracks and then back again to the instrumental feel. That in a way kinda brings a sense of ‘confusion’ into the mix tho it doesn’t sound bad but it kinda splits the musical idea of the album in two. So some people might like one part of the album and the detest the rest and vice versa but from a commercial point of view it actually really pays off cos it allows the album to cut across well and reach different types of music lovers]…
I’m going to have to give this a B-