Review: Ambition x Wale
Wale delivery throughout majority of the album has garnered swag since his deal with Jay-Z first solo album dropping. His delivery quenches his thirst for Ambition on the introduction “Don’t Hold Your Applause.” He is deserving of applause with lyrics such as “Shit, I be feeling like real niggas don’t make it to 50 / And I be feeling Martin, Malcolm, and Pac would defend me.”He paints the thug life nature of the community that is caricature-like for the DC area (I’m not a fan of the word DMV).
Overall, lyrics and wordplay propels this album. The production and low quality beats take away from the appeal to Wale’s dominant NY 90s style flow with the DC lingo. With a hinting backdrop of gogo behind his beats, Wale has more two-step songs rather than headbangers.
This album is an eclectic collection of work; for example, songs like ‘Miami Nights,’ ‘Legendary,’ and ‘No Days Off’ show the hard work and come up in the rap game. When I get my money right I will shine bright kind of songs. But at the same time, instead of success he raps about earning, he emphasizes that ambition and says, I just want to be legendary.
‘Focused’ featuring Kid Cudi is a mix of witty banter and puns throughout. With Cudi on the hook, this song proves to be the mainstream song that Wale needs to sell more records. Even though he flopped with the opportunity to push into the mainstream scene with a song with Lady Gaga, Wale goes back to what he knows best in his poetic like tracks- WOMEN.
‘Lotus Flower Bomb’ featuring Miguel, ‘That Way’ featuring Ross and Jeremih,’ ‘Sabotage’ featuring Lloyd, ‘White Linen (Coolin)’ and ‘Illest Bitch’ are songs for the ladies. This is ride around music for you to enjoy when you’re driving down the Beltway or the highway.
However, if you’re actually in DC or a hood near you, you may want to bump ‘Double M Genius’ or ‘Chain Music.’ ‘Chain Music’ is the (coming from where hoes fuck you for your paint job) song. With a Rick Ross sample for the hook, Wale could’ve did it up if he used the previous Ross lyric instead.
As I’ve mentioned the album lacks the beat factor and one other thing- FEATURES. No shots at Wale, but with just Big Sean, Meek Mills, and Rick Ross the only rap features, the album lacks depth.
Moreover, Wale doesn’t lack depth in finding a message with his art. In the song, “DC or Nothing” he touches on things very sensitive to the DC area such as the AIDS epidemic, the dippa heads (users of embalming fluid), gentrification, you name it. Where the hood struggles, Wale tries to uplift.
I’ve seen a lot of tweets about Wale is finally putting ‘Us’ on. Thank you Wale for putting a face to DC area music. While most of the people are from Maryland, I’d feel left out as a fan if I were from MD. Unless, I want to be an outsider from DC too. There’s no argument with unifying three states due to similarities, but when the differences are vast, it will be a great feat to do the deed of unifying an area that doesn’t want to be together.
When listening to music, you don’t study the person. You say, this person is good at that. Let’s see how he goes about doing that. Wale at heart is a poet and a messenger. In order to fuel his ambition and feed his ego, he will have a hard time trying to be respected by his audience. Wale is nice, but what hood is he from? That will always be a question that has to be answered in order for him to achieve that personal success of being accepted by the gangsters and real DC niggas.
I don’t want to be a hater. I like Wale’s music. His genius gift of the pen on songs like ‘Wale from Maryland’ strengthens my disclaimer. This album is definitely worth copping. If you’re not from the DC area, you can learn a thing or two from this album. If you’re from the DC area, then support your stars. If you are from DC, then Moses is here to lead your ears to the promise land. Even if he isn’t from the city.
I was born and raised in Southeast, DC. When I was old enough to get in trouble for doing wrong, I moved deeper into Southeast. Afterwards, I lived in Northeast. From Ward 8, the worst area in DC to Ward 7, the next worst area in DC. Our nation’s capital is a very territorial place, marked by ‘hoods and streets. This sense of pride in your hood was exacerbated by the Go-Go.
I was educated in DC and then Maryland for the latter years of high school followed by Baltimore for college. Since a child, I’ve always heard “Oh, you’re from DC – what part?” The reply was more than likely always “Southeast.” “Oh for real? Where at?” The neighborhood that was said most of the time was “Barry Farms.”
Arguably one of the ‘hardest’ hoods in DC, if you weren’t from there, you couldn’t go around there. Or at least back in my childhood. For the love of me, I could never understand people’s fascination with being gangster. I could never fathom why people wanted to be from the place I grew up. It wasn’t nothing to look forward to but prison, drug selling, hustling, chilling on the corner, doing whatever you see in the gangster films. Such was life. College got worst. Out of town, everyone from any part of Maryland within 20 minutes of DC was from DC. But hey, those same out of towners told me I wasn’t from the hood because I went to a privilege, white, Jesuit college. )It got old fast.
With that said, I HOPE you enjoyed my review of the man who is single handedly trying to unify the suburbs with the urban, the gangsters with the school kids, the white collar with the blue collar, the bitches with the hoes; hence the name of the album: Ambition.