From his very beginnings Wale has proven to be an artist on a quest for greatness. Jaz-Z was once quoted as saying "Wale will be great because of his work ethic alone." In which Wale has proven to be a machine when it comes to being able to release music and almost live in the studio at times. Wale first busted on to the scene with his breakout hit "Nike Boots" which proved that he had the ability to make a hit. Combine that with the fact that when you peel back the beat and the hook, then you can see that the bars had the ability to carry hip-hop in it's purest form into the next generation. "Nike Boots" which became a street anthem and created the buzz outside the state of D.C., (I know, I don't do geography but let's just call it what the locals call it DMV.) Combine all of that plus major co-signs from greats like Jay-Z, and it's easy to see why Wale was destined for greatness.
His most biggest commercial success to date is his sophomore album "Ambition" that sold over 480,000 copies. The 15 track album was Wale's first commercial success. Wale was definitely at the top of the game, with a top selling album and Grammy nominations, the sky was the limit for Wale. But what goes up must come down. Following the release of "Ambition" Wale dropped "The Gifted" which though critically acclaimed Wale experienced what most artists go thru when their music evolves, the splitting of the of your fan base. With a new style he coined "New Black Soul" Wale's approach to his music and the sound of his music evolved which separated his fans. On one hand you have your day one fans who likes all his old music and supported him from the beginning, and then there are the new fans who fell in love with Wale's new music which is what introduced them to Wale. This is something Kanye West knows far too well. Wale in an attempt to appease the masses dropped "The Album About Nothing", a compromise that was meant to bridge the gap between both fan bases, including commentary from comedian Jerry Seinfield who's show "Seinfield" has been a major theme of Wale's mixtapes. Yet it failed to reach the commercial success of his previous albums. The scrutiny that came with Wale's release of "Album About Nothing" only fueled his fight for greatness. And the recent drop of "False Prophets" by J. Cole and you have the undeniable fire that Wale has put out lately.
The New Music:
Wale has dropped some crazy fire as of lately. Starting with the track "Groundhog Day" which is a response track to J. Cole's first verse on "False Prophets". Wale is turning a moment of unwanted criticism, into an opportunity to show that he can rap with the best of them. In his track Wale even takes a few jabs at the Dreamville rapper. "Behind them crooked smiles niggas neglect to embrace me." J. Cole is known for his crooked smile in which he talks about on his song "Crooked Smile" which features TLC. But despite the many jabs that Wale takes at J. Cole during the track he still ends it as to say that he still fucks with him and his music. "I love my brother tho. I love my brother tho. That's why it's rest in peace to Tommy we still bumpin Cole."
The most highly underrated of my generation
On the newly released track "Running Back" Wale teams up with legend and mentor "Lil Wayne". This is most definitely a more commercial track that looks to get radio and club play. On this track both rappers exchange double entendres about being a running back and hittin the hole.
Bitches want money stacks, I just want my percent
Last but certainly not least... Wale dropped one of the most overlooked tracks of 2016 called "Forlarin Like", a song that samples from the great Nas's track "Nas is Like". Not only does Wale pay homage to the great Nas on the track but he shows why he is destined for hip-hop greatness. Check out his word-play in the quote below.
Wale brings a unique flow and lyricism to the game of hip-hop, he is apart of the next school of rappers who are solidifying their position in the Hall of Fame of hip-hop. He can not only spar with his peers but he can also go round-for-round with some of the greats of hip-hop. Wale still has a long path to reach greatness, arguably the longest and hardest path when comparing to Drake, J. Cole, or Kendrick Lamar. But one thing is for sure is that he has the fight in him. If you don't know then this is what "Forlarin Like".
Rose gold the pinky