If you don’t like Wale for his ambition, then maybe this album isn’t for you. Ha! Armed with a gold second album, Wale shoots for the top on his third LP. You see satisfaction is for suckers and Mr. Folarin wants to be recognized one day with the great ones. Newfound fame hasn’t derailed him on his mission.
The Gifted contains a gang of guests but the focus never strays off the D.C. MC. He commandeers the go-go fueled, captivating “Clappers” (featuring Nicki Minaj and Juicy J), smokes away the stress on the thumping “Rotation” (featuring Wiz Khalifa & 2 Chainz) and takes the media to task on the groovy “Guillibe” (Cee-Lo on the chorus).” Here he observes, “Our generation is cursed, we got too many clones.”
‘Le’s uniqueness is evidenced on the self-produced “Simple Man” and his passion bleeds through the Meek Mill-included “Heaven’s Afternoon”. Although there have been plenty rap songs paying homage to hip-hop’s infatuation with jewels, “Golden Salvation” still stands out for its creativity. From the perspective of the Jesus piece, Wale raps, “I died for you all/Now niggas die for me.”
Wale turns the attention to himself on the vital “Vanity”, flaunts his sneaker game and aspirations on the Just Blaze-produced banger “88”, and channels Marvin Gaye on the lavish “Love Hate Thing,” a tantalizing tune that radio should have championed with way more spins. Damn you, Robin Thicke.
There ain’t no mystery on what’s next for Wale. The outstanding “Black Heroes” ends with a skit featuring the real Jerry Seinfeld confirming the upcoming Album About Nothing. That’s right, mixtape Wale fans rejoice. The dude with his heart on his sleeve is living out his dream. Yada yada to the haters.—YN