Wale Review: A Breath of Hip-Hop Fresh Air

Wale
Ambition

Wale, Ambition, Cover, Art, Gangster

There has been this absurd narrative floating around, basically lauding Wale for resurrecting from the dead to release a second studio album. It’s not like the guy completely shat the bed on his debut or anything, it was just an utter commercial failure. In essence, this narrative is propagating the theory that the only hip-hop albums of any value are those with mass commercial appeal.
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Lil’ Wayne Review: Tha Carter IV

Lil’ Wayne

Tha Carter IV

One listen into Tha Carter IV, several elements of the album had me pretty excited.  Between two tracks, “Interlude” & “Outro”, Lil’ Wayne employs a murderer’s row of Tech N9ne, Andre 3000, Bun B, Nas, Shyne, and Busta Rhymes to basically give the album a complete break from anything Wayne. Conceptually, I love this idea. Get a bunch of extremely talented rappers to team up on a couple songs, completely removing the focus of the album (Lil’ Wayne) from the equation. It actually seems somewhat selfless. And it works. “Interlude”, with Tech and Andre laying verses over the same simple paranoid drone of a beat as “Intro” and “Outro” could not be more thrilling.  In fact, I didn’t even find it particularly lazy to use the same beat three times on the album.  Tech N9ne lays down what may go down as one of the best verses of the year, on “Interlude”. Andre 3000 follows him up with a very solid verse, pretty much just doing his thing. It is hard to pick out one guy who shines the most in “Outro”, but with a gun to my head I would have to say Nas’s verse challenges Tech’s as best verse on the album, and likewise some of the best material I have heard all year.  Busta manages to make a serious impact in his appearance, grabbing our attention with his fast pace as well as his Luda-like delivery in portions of his verse.  Finally, Shyne’s verse is absolutely street, and Bun B has a solid verse, but is overshadowed to some degree by the later verses of Nas, Shyne, and Busta on the same track.
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