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Drew Beringer 11/09/09 11:52 PM

Wale - Attention Deficit
 
WaleAttention Deficit
Release Date: November 10, 2009
Record Label: Allido/Interscope/Roc Nation


On “DC Gorillaz,” a cut from the mixtape 100 Miles and Running, Wale talks about putting his hometown, Washington DC, back into the mainstream, as well as bringing back a Grammy to "wear around his neck." The 24-year-old Wale Folarin has been introducing the DC go-go movement to the public with an onslaught of stellar mixtapes, including the critically-acclaimed, Seinfeld-inspired The Mixtape About Nothing. After months of delays, finally his hotly anticipated debut, Attention Deficit is about to hit the ears of eager hip-hop fans everywhere.

Featuring all-star production by the likes of Mark Ronson, Cool & Dre, The Neptunes, and Best Kept Secret, Wale promptly unleashes his blend of go-go and mainstream hip-hop, which together creates one of the best debut albums to release in 2009. Throughout Attention Deficit, you hear the fearlessness of Wale. The dude is blunt and isn’t afraid to say whatever is on his mind. Opening track, “Triumph,” lays out Wale’s attitude from the very beginning: “I ain’t tryin to be politically correct/But I won’t rest until I get my respect.” “Mama Told Me” flows smoothly like a Kanye joint, while Wale goes toe-to-toe with Houston legend Bun B on the jittery “Mirrors.”

Attention Deficit thrives because of its diversity and honesty. Radiant piano keys and jagged percussion power “World Tour”, as Jazmine Sullivan’s guest vocals give the track a velvety finish. The bombastic Cool & Dre-produced lead single, “Chillin’,” which showcases Lady Gaga providing a mesmeric hook while Wale enthusiastically shows his hometown some love. It’s another lesson displaying Wale’s masterful talent at weaving metaphors into his lyrics.

Although Attention Deficit is full of swagger and style, it is also an album that doesn't consist of any fluff, as Wale tackles tough issues as well. On the electronica-tinged “90210,” Wale spins a tale about women who suffer from bulimia and coke addictions. The melodic “Diary” puts a vulnerable Wale in the limelight, promising his everlasting affection to a woman who is just too hurt to love back. Wale also raps about love knowing no color on the beautiful “Shades,” and approaches the topic of suicide on the dark “Contemplate.”

There are a few missteps, such as some questionable lyrics and the ad nauseam repetition of his own name, as well as “Beautiful Bliss,” in which guest J. Cole may have murked Wale on his own track. But that’s not enough to bring Attention Deficit down, as Wale Folarin has provided one of the better hip-hop debuts in recent memory. He doesn’t fall into the freshman trap of routine topics and concepts that plenty of first-timers beast on, instead he challenges himself with a variety of topics, keeping the album fresh. The diverse nature and complex themes will definitely keep your attention throughout. Grammy award or not, Wale has put DC hip-hop back on the map.

Additional InformationTrack Listing:
1. Triumph (Produced by Dave Sitek)
2. Mama Told Me (Produced by Best Kept Secret)
3. Mirrors feat. Bun B (Produced by Mark Ronson)
4. Pretty Girls feat. Gucci Mane & Weensey (Produced by Best Kept Secret)
5. World Tour feat. Jazmine Sullivan (Produced by Cool & Dre)
6. Let It Loose feat. Pharrell (Produced by The Neptunes)
7. 90210 (Produced by Mark Ronson)
8. Shades feat. Chrisette Michele (Produced by Best Kept Secret & JuJu)
9. Chillin’ feat. Lady Gaga (Produced by Cool & Dre)
10. TV in the Radio feat. K’naan (Produced by Dave Sitek)
11. Contemplate (Produced by Syience)
12. Diary feat. Marsha Ambrosius (Produced by The Sleepwalkers)
13. Beautiful Bliss feat Melanie Fiona & J. Cole (Produced by DJ Green Lantern & Mark Ronson)
14. Prescription (Produced by Best Kept Secret)

Official Website; Official Myspace; Official AP.net Profile


Argentine 11/10/09 12:34 AM

great great review
I've been listening to him for the last few months and I'm sold.
really unique and can rap over anything.

Sarcasm 11/10/09 01:51 AM

Great review Drew. Really dig this album.

My rating 86%.

Gregory Robson 11/10/09 04:45 AM

Should be a higher rating. Album is ridiculously good.

One quick edit: "Although Attention Deficit is full of swag and style, it is also an album that doesn't consist of any fluff."
You probably meant to say swagger. Swag is a MUCH different term. HUGE difference.

Also, what rapper doesn't reiterate his name over and over again? Isn't that just part of the cultural lexicon?

Keagan Ilvonen 11/10/09 05:08 AM

Such a great album. Wale finally dropped his notice to the game.

Dunn.Nope 11/10/09 05:41 AM

rep that Bun B

superBMRuth 11/10/09 06:51 AM

ah, this is great! i was hoping this album would be good. big ups for reviewing hip-hop albums to begin with, it's impossible to find unbiased reviews in this genre.

mick2late 11/10/09 07:04 AM

Love that you used the word "murked" in this review, Drew, haha. Great review, though, as well as a great album.

fborelli 11/10/09 07:34 AM

It almost sounds like he's taking part of the style of others (which isn't a bad thing) while still having his own thing.

90210 sounds like a Cudi track, and Mama Told Me sounds like a classic Kanye track

Drew Beringer 11/10/09 08:01 AM

Reading Wale's twitter feed is really crappy today, seems like Interscope really undershipped his record.

Holly HoX! 11/10/09 08:04 AM

It's going to be hard for him to top The Mixtape About Nothing, but this was pretty good.

IamTheINDUSTRY 11/10/09 08:20 AM

I agree with every one of those scores. Good review drew

littlebeav 11/10/09 08:21 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Gregory Robson (Post 57120382)
Should be a higher rating. Album is ridiculously good.

One quick edit: "Although Attention Deficit is full of swag and style, it is also an album that doesn't consist of any fluff."
You probably meant to say swagger. Swag is a MUCH different term. HUGE difference.

Also, what rapper doesn't reiterate his name over and over again? Isn't that just part of the cultural lexicon?

This. Much higher rating. I want to see a real rap fan review this.

tyramail 11/10/09 08:27 AM

great review, though i probably would have rated it higher. this album is so fantastic.

bobby runs 11/10/09 08:41 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Drew Beringer (Post 57124401)
Reading Wale's twitter feed is really crappy today, seems like Interscope really undershipped his record.

Agreed. I just got a Best Buy gift card for my bday so I might go buy it today.