For as much hate as Wale gets in the Hip-Hop industry, he really got it right this time. His most recent project The Gifted brings us exactly what makes Wale so great: his ability to bounce bars about various societal subject matter over groovy beats that sound like live instrumentation. Songs like “LoveHate Thing ft. Sam Dew”, for example, really bring out the best in Wale’s style; His “carefree jazzy swagger flow” (as I like to call it) fits in with elegant horns and dusty drums (which is truly unique). This is his best work since his majorly underrated album Attention Deficit.
When he originally signed with Maybach Music Group, the direction he was about to go was very unknown. Ambition came out reasonably soon after (about half a year), boasting a different Wale that was previously unheard. “Lotus Flower Bomb” and “That Way” featured a lady-killer side that many considered quite sleazy. “Chain Music” and “Ambition” were both catchy tracks, but still boasted the same braggadocious lyrical efforts we’re used to hearing daily on the radio. While Ambition was a highly successful album, it also introduced us to a watered-down version of the talented lyricist we weren’t used to hearing; But that’s what makes The Gifted so great. It’s the perfect mix between the two worlds.
“Gullible” and “Clappers” both manage to stay radio-friendly, while tracks like “88” and “Golden Salvation (Jesus Piece)” could satisfy any decent Hip-Hop head. As far as features go, we get a very impressive back-and-forth effort involving Meek Mill on the song “Heaven’s Afternoon”. Meek Mill’s constantly energetic flow fits perfectly with the exciting string overture sampled in the background. Wiz Khalifa and 2 Chainz both fit in perfectly with the heavily herbed out beat on “Rotation”.
Wale has done a very good job staying relevant in the race for Summer Album Supremacy. In fact, he scored the “#1 Album in the Country” title. As for me, I know The Gifted will stay in my playlist for quite some time.