Hip-Hop Block Reviews Wale’s “Chillin’” feat. Lady Gaga
Perfecting hip-hop’s mixtape genre by sheer lyrics and rap concepts in 2008, Wale (pronounced Wah-lay) has teamed up with international star and pop culture’s favorite, Lady Gaga, to create his first single Chillin’.”
“Chillin’” is an acceptably sound song with the current fabrications comprised by, nowadays, deprecating rappers. Wale is a resident of P.G. Country, Maryland, but grew up in Washington D.C. In a quest to put his city on the map and forefront of mainstream rap, Olubowale Folarin’s lyrics are not only appealing to his D.C. audience, but the lyrics also capture images of life and ways of thinking that go unheard by the mass media.
“Ya man Wale in his own damn lane/ Can’t control the box you in no mills lane/ You aint heard DC till sardines came.”
Wale is the voice of a city, and that city is the District of Columbia. The slick reference to “Go-Go Music” is enough to get one’s mind thinking about the lyrical aspect of rapping like the 90s.
But without thorough knowledge of what the phrase “Sardines and pork and beans” means, Wale fails to produce a true, mainstream track.
Also, with a lackluster hook and the repetition of the name Wale, the airplay and sales of this single will depend greatly upon the vocals of Lady Gaga.
As we usher in the new rap era labeled “hipster rap,” Wale should be thrown on the shelf of so-called hipster rappers. Hipster rap sounds like educated and moaning rappers who express contempt for the lack of substance in today’s society.
“Don’t talk about the cars y’all got/ You say you got a lot of whips/ Well I got a lot.”
Even though Wale may have property value, he will not be able to spread his land of listeners if he cannot make a meaningful message for the masses that listen to hip-hop. However, he does paint pictures of his hometown in his lyrics.
“Police come around don’t nobody say nothin’/ And you be with the cops you [expletive] is McLovin.”
Just because people can paint pictures, does not necessarily mean they’re artist. However, after pedaling lyrics onto beats since 2006, Wale is becoming a name.
And that name is enough to make him as arrogant and cocky as most rappers are today, giving him enough swag to make it to the top of hip-hop’s greats.
“You [expletive] mad ‘cause you not me/ I remain a Giant and you Jeremy Shockey.”
That’s just the way the city is, but outside of the city, no one cares what Wale has to say. Producers Cool and Dre solidify Wale’s style, flow, and delivery on the track as well, making a lovely addition to creative rap beats in 2009.
But with a Jock Jams sample, it is time to say “Good-bye” to the old and welcome in the new voices of hip-hop.
Wale, with his mixtape—Mixtape About Nothing, top 100 songs of 2008 on pitchfork.com, Interscope record deal, noticeable features and front page of the “Top 10 Freshmen Hip-Hop’s class of ’09,” has made it to the championship of hip-hop, but needs a better single and bigger fan-base to win it all.