Album review – Ambition
After being heralded as a future staple in the rap industry, under the guidance of Mark Ronson and the management of Jay-Z’s Roc Nation, the future looked ever so bright for the Washington MC. However, mediocre reviews and the poor commercial performance of his debut album, “Attention Deficit” led to Wale’s release from Interscope Records and a career in stagnation. However, 2011 saw resurgence in his career:
Wale joined forces with Rick Ross and his ever expanding Maybach Music Group movement, as well as building upon an established fan base. 2011 saw the release of his sophomore album, “Ambition” which showed commercial improvement upon his last release.
Wale wordplay appears to have diminished since ‘Attention Deficit’, although it still remains witty and proficient, evident with lines such as, “pass the L like a semi-colon” and “from court seats to court seats, that’s progress”. Live instrumentation is used throughout the album and Wale incorporates elements of the Washington DC Go-Go scene.
The first four featureless songs exhibit Wale at his finest, rhyming over smooth beats as well as demonstrating unique cadences and clever lyricism.
An album stand out is ‘Lotus Flower Bomb’, the first of quite a few songs dedicated to females. Soothing synths serenade the listener while Wale delivers wistful verses and Miguel Jontel effortlessly croons. Lloyd’s celestial vocals act as the perfect antithesis for Wale’s gruff delivery on “Sabotage”, which also features live instrumentation.
The T-Minus (architect behind ‘I’m On One’) produced title track ‘Ambition’ featuring label-mates Rick Ross and Meek Mill, sees all three going head-to-head, reflecting on how their ambition has seen them move past difficult situations and attain their current success.
Wale proves to be more than a rapper and indeed the poet he claims to be (he even raps on ‘Focused’, “f*** rap, I get p**** off of haiku”), reciting poetry on tracks such as ‘Maybach Poetic Genius’ and ‘Illest B**** Alive’.
Wale also offers social commentary on ‘DC Or Nothing’ questioning the hypocrisy of certain political policies, “politicians f***ing hookers, why he mad at my ganja?”