Album Review: Wale – Attention Deficit

12 11 2009

Wale – Attention Deficit
Wale Attention Deficit
2009 was the year of new MC’s; Drake gained a mainstream buzz with his So Far Gone mixtape, Charles Hamilton dropped his digital release, and Asher Roth and KiD CuDi released their debuts. Then there’s Interscope’s newest signee Wale, the first rapper representing D.C.. After heating up the mixtape circuit with projects like The Mixtape About Nothing and Back to the Feature and being managed by Jay’s Roc Nation label; listeners wondered if Wale was ready to take on the mainstream Hip Hop scene. After a couple of push backs, his debut album Attention Deficit is here; the real question is, does Attention Deficit hold your attention?

3.5/5 – ADHD

Wale gets it started with the horn-driven album opener, appropriately titled “Triumph”. Wale kicks off the album with clever one liners like “I’m Michael Vick, if yall bark nigga yall thru”, and his signature flow. “Triumph” is followed up by another hot track “Mama Told Me”, utilizing the same sample from an unreleased Dre and T.I. track that can also be heard on Dre’s “Dr. Pepper Commercial” and Amerie and Fab’s “Must Be Love”. Wale voices his opinions on today’s Hip Hop, his expectations, and of course biggin’ up his Moms. Another solid track contributing to the albums opener is the Bun-B assisted “Mirrors”, where Wale spits a stutter flow about self reflection.
Based off the albums opener, it’s obvious that Wale has an ear for production. Though Cool n Dre’s “World Tour” sounds more ideal for Rick Ross, and the Neptunes average contribution titled “Let It Loose”, Attention Deficit‘s instrumentals are still impressive. Another factor to the album’s pros is the creativity Wale put into the themes of certain tracks. On “90210”, Wale tales a story of Anorexic, aspiring models, taking a risk by rapping about what models go through instead of sleeping with them. Then on “Shades”, Wale resurrects the age-old complexion differences in the African-American community stating good observations about how complexion play their parts in the media and even in the White House.
One downfall of the album is the vast number of features. Attention Deficit is one of the rare occasions where you will find Gucci Mane, Lady GaGa, Pharrell, and Bun-B in the same place. It’s obvious the Gucci feature was to increase the mass appeal for the album, but it still seems a bit out of placed and forced. “Pretty Girls” is indeed a nice track, but it would’ve further proved Wale’s independence as an artist if it excluded the Gucci feature. One highlight verse on the album is from Wale’s Roc Nation labelmate J. Cole. The North Carolina MC pulls a “Eminem on Renegade” and kills the artists on their own song. J. Cole spits:

“Nas told me “Life’s A Bitch”/Pac said “Fuck The World” and I ain’t cum yet/You up yet?/My punchlines like gut checks, I’m raw dog/I’m rough sex, I’m on deck, I’m up next/I’m God Blessed, I’m success so fuck stress”

To bring this review to an end, Attention Deficit has a lot to offer from commercial singles (“Pretty Girls”, “Chillin”), to conceptual tracks (“90210”, “Prescription”), and pure Hip Hop (“TV and the Radio”, “Mirrors”). Attention Deficit isn’t a bad album. It’s very well-produced and has it’s high points, but there are dull moments in the album. Fans can appreciate the deep and creative efforts from Wale but at the same time they may become bored towards the album’s closing.

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