Wale has been through a lot in the last few years. It’s hard to believe but not too long ago he was dropped by Interscope after the release of his debut album, Attention Deficit, making him a free agent when he released his mixtape More About Nothing. It wouldn’t be long until he found a new deal with Rick Ross’ MMG and released his sophomore album which came in number one on the charts. Fast forward two years and the impending release of his third studio album, The Gifted, is upon us. The album may be a bit overshadowed by the other June 18th releases (Yeezus, Born Sinner, WMWTSO), but it is up there if not better than those albums. Wale has talked about being more hands-on with the production and it is very evident from the very first track on the album.
Wale kicks off the album with the track “The Curse Of The Gifted.” Wale demands respect on the track and states he is never satisfied. The track features live instrumentals and really sets the tone for the rest of the album. Think “Sabotage” off of his Ambition album, but just a little bit more uptempo on some of the tracks. The track that immediately follows “The Curse of The Gifted” is “Lovehate Thing,” which was released almost a month ago. The track gave us a preview of what the album would sound like. Tracks like “88” and “Rotation” featuring Wiz and 2 Chainz gave us a little more insight on what the album would sound like. The track “88” is my favorite of the two only because it is about Jordan and he mentions Chicago throughout the song; I’m sure sneakerheads will really enjoy the song as well. My favorite part about “Rotation” is the hook which reminds me a bit of Kid Cudi. It would be dope to see what Wale can come up with if he takes that route for future tracks.
There are many collaborations on The Gifted but the biggest has to be Rihanna’s feature on the remix to “Bad.” The track was originally made for Rihanna by Tiara Thomas and was sent to her but there was no response. Everything came full circle when Rihanna decided to jump on the monster single for the official remix. The song is currently killing on the radio and the remix will surely do the same, if not more. His track “Clappers” will probably be the next big record off of the album. The song features Nicki Minaj and Juicy J and has strip club anthem written all over it. Time will tell if it does damage on the radio as well. The Cee-Lo Green feature on “Gullible” is pretty good, but Lyfe Jennings’ hook on “Bricks” is great. It’s good to hear Lyfe making music again. Meek Mill’s feature on “Heaven’s Afternoon” reminds me of their track “100 Hunnit” they made a few years back. There is talks of a joint project, but no release date yet. We can only hope they release a joint mixtape or EP sometime soon.
There are many songs on the album that have no features but are dope as well. Tracks like “Sunshine,” “Vanity” and “Simple Man” have some very good production, catchy hooks and great verses. The production on “Simple Man” is handled by Wale himself. It is the first track that he has ever produced. Looking forward to hearing what he can come up with next on the production end. We get a teaser of Wale’s next album (Album About Nothing) after his “Black Heroes” track. On the “Outro About Nothing,” Jerry Seinfeld talks about wanting to get started on recording Album About Nothing. We will definitely keep you updated whenever any news regarding that project is released.
Wale was hands-on on this new album and it was very evident. I’ve listened to the album multiple times and it really flows well from front to back. I really hope it is not overlooked next week due to all the releases on June 18th. Pre-order the new album and stream it on iTunes here or pick up a physical copy next week on June 25th.
Key Tracks: Simple Man, Bad/Bad Remix, Lovehate Thing, Vanity, Sunshine, Clappers