Gossiping Bitch’s Note: We have temporarily ceded control of our website to rapper/activist Wale (for the week), who threatened to come to our offices and such and such and so and so if we did not provide him a platform.
Music is not worth listening to anymore. Yet, it is still worth hating. The question becomes, how to listen to enough music to hate on with the least amount of effort (yes, even less effort than being an online reviewer). Solution: Amazon.com, which in its futile effort to sell music gives the somewhat motivated Hater everything he or she (probably he) needs to dis away while batting down any inquiries into whether they “actually heard” the hated music in question (as if it can’t already be assumed that all music released today is terrible, sound unheard).
In this edition of Amazon album page reviews, we take a listen to Wale’s albums (but not all the mixtapes, because Jesus give us a break).
What I Know Going In
Artist Name: Wale
Status: Thirsty. Thirsty as a moviegoer at a Lawrence of Arabia screening after a roll of Sweettarts and small popcorn.
Hype: He is his own best advocate, I’ll give him that.
Hateworthy?: Default setting is Hate, regardless of who the motherfucker is. This particular motherfucker’s main issue is that he makes all the same demands of fealty as Kanye but without all the music worth caring about.
Appropriate title! Right off I don’t know what I believe less, the “Only 2 left in stock” or the “(more on the way).” The 42 used for a $1 makes sense, but the 1 “collectible” for $20? What, did Juicy J sign it or something? At any rate, gift wrap on this item is available, in case you have a son you just found out wasn’t yours with a birthday coming up.
“Triumph”? I’m saying, the first song on the first album may be a bit early to declare victory. Wale also lets us know he is discarding any association with “B-grade artists,” which I will say is an edict he has stayed true to. He would rather be the odd man out in a vastly more popular rapper’s crew than be down with lesser known artists who might challenge him to be interesting. Seems too early in the sequencing for a mama song too, but that’s what we get in the second track, with Wale going over all the stuff his mom told him. Mine told me rap was a waste of time and I’m going to call her right now and tell her she was right…
Okay, she at the slots now, but I’ll text her later. Gonna skip ahead, but just want to point out that the most annoying type rappers are the ones who use the same exact flows all the time but stressss theirrrr punchlinnnnes, which is like putting a bow on a present you already know you’re gonna get because you get the same shit every time. Socks. There are way too many attempts at earnestness on this album, which oddly seems less honest, since how we have fun reveals as much about us as how we feel about whatever issues. And the softness of this shit is hard to ignore, like when he attempts a polemic on “Shades” that Del already knocked out in more direct fashion with “Dark Skin Girls.” You ain’t saying much if you ain’t willing to get kicked off the label for it. We are assured in the product description that “Chillin” was a hit, but I seem to remember it as a flop that I nevertheless loved the hook of. There’s like three relationship songs in a fuckin row, which even LL would look sideways at. One of them predicts some girl will regret the way she treated Wale 5 years from now, and that seems to capture his whole steez: one of these days you’ll appreciate me, so keep that in mind as you fail to appreciate me in present day.
Don’t know why you would name a sophomore album the exact trait your debut lacked, but hey. All is right with the world, as the “collectible” version of this album is 2 bucks cheaper than the album. Wale’s biography tells us a story of a rapper who went through “trials and tribulations [Why not just trials? Why always tribulations too? The fuck is a tribulation?] that would have doomed the careers of lesser MCs,” which is just a hilarious sentence. Flopping a debut is not a trial, and pretty much everyone who attempts a career in rap is doomed, whatever their talent level.
Here is another gang of bafflingly softcore songs for someone who had everything to prove. “Legendary” impresses for Wale’s attempt to manage expectations. “Fuck fame, fuck money” — yes, Wale, this is more like it! Many of the clips offered feature the singers guesting on the album rather than Rappin Wale, giving away the game for Amazon: like, look at this as an R&B compilation album of artists you like, with some rapping guy thrown in periodically. Favorite line from the clips: “Silly bitches following me like every day.” Contempt for an audience you don’t have? Does Wale have a condition not yet recognized by medical science? The clip of the Rick Ross featured song doesn’t include Ross which is ambition indeed, since his co-sign is what’s fueling the whole Maybach of Wale’s career at this point. “Illest Bitch” is a song about uplifting women. Wale saves his laziest flow for “No Days Off.” “DC or Nothing” offers a choice that makes itself: if you’re in DC, Wale, then…
Customers who bought this album are also into J. Cole, BoB, and other Wale albums. One pull quote from the customer reviews says, “Great album nonetheless.” I did not read the review for context, because I picture a whole list of grievances comprising the “nonetheless,” followed by a concession like, “but hey, I’m into R&B and Rick Ross endorsements, and this album offers both.”
Well, that’s it for Amazon page reviews! See you next time when we take a listen to Death Gr…wait…huh…oh…there’s another one?
Goddammit, why. Mom, I am sorry. C. Delores Tucker, I am sorry. Calvin Butts, I am sorry, please steamroll me. Tipper Gore and PMRC, I am sorry. The first thing that strikes me, aside from my own hand, is that Wale’s album art got progressively shittier on each release. This one is some sort of Wale bust commissioned by a very cruel patron, with a pencil drawn mural background that promises all the adventure of a high school freshman’s notebook.
Wale once again proves he’s not afraid to turn it up all the way to 7! The flows is the same. The ideas is the same. The guest list is the same, with the notable exception of new collaborator Rihanna’s failure to give this guy a hit already. In fact, hit makers are all on this piece: Cee-Lo, Nicki, Wiz, Ross, 2 Chainz, Jerry Seinfeld — and not a single one of these people can turn Wale into an artist of any consequence. (But let’s leave Consequence out of this.) Do you listen to a mix show waiting for that Wale joint? No. Do you put Wale on your personal mix? Nah. Do you hear Wale songs at the company mixer? Nechh. Yet somehow this is OUR fault! Fool, you have been given every opportunity to pop off and get ousted each time. Yes, Juicy J’s album is better than yours. Jessie J’s album is better than yours. Violent J’s album is better than yours. Any random rapper with J in their name who just put a video on youtube is better than your album, because they at least offer the potential for discovery. Get away from your team, your city, your whole concept, and attempt to do something artistically worthwhile. Or just do the same shit, but don’t blame us for not loving you.
I sentence myself to hanging.
With the homeboys!