Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Review: Wale, Attention Deficit

Attention Deficit
Grade: A
Put a smile on, DC, Wale’s Attention Deficit has landed and will not disappoint. Although Attention Deficit is Wale’s formal debut, he needs no introduction.
It was three years ago that I first saw Wale's name while on a transcontinental flight, skimming through a Rolling Stone hoping to find a distraction from my boredom. Soon after, on the magazine’s recommendation, I downloaded “W.A.L.E.D.A.N.C.E,” a mixtape masterpiece from his humble beginnings, and it was love at first listen.
With a number of hit singles (“Nike Boots,” “Family Affair”) already under his belt, Wale’s reputation proceeds his album. Nonetheless, Attention Deficit has finally satisfied a hunger only curbed by his mixtapes and singles for his many followers. All 14 tracks (16 with bonus tracks) showcase Wale’s raw talent as a lyricist over some top-notch producing. Always one for wordplay, Attention Deficit requires a trained ear, featuring puns and allusions that take several listens to fully recognize and appreciate. Like all his works, it is serious at times (“Contemplate”), just plain fun at others (“Chillin”), all killer, no filler, and peppered with collaborations. Though I was sad to see Gucci Mane rear his ugly flow, I was thrilled to see Wale paired with the likes of K’naan, Bun B, and fellow DMV rapper J. Cole.
Having caught him at Rock the Bells in Boston, I can tell you firsthand that he delivers on stage like few else are able, and I suggest that you see him in concert.
Otherwise, big ups to the hometown hero, and be sure to check out Attention Deficit.
-- Andrew Rennie
Host, "Bangers and Mash," Sundays 8-10 AM on WGTB

1 comment:

Mark W said...

Sorry, but I have to disagree:
I think Wale is one of the most talented rappers today, and I am a fan, but I was disappointed severely by his first album.

His first mixtapes were uniformly excellent, but he has gotten away from what he did best on those mixtapes. Yes, he has been around for a while, but this is his first big chance to expand to the masses and he puts song on there like Chillin'? (the worst song he has ever made)