Tag Archives: wale

Music

Timbaland announces his retirement from hip-hop

In a recent interview with MTV, Timbaland announced he is leaving hip-hop.  Apparently, he’s switching genres to satisfy his fans, most of whom are more likely to listen to Madonna or John Mayer than Nas or Jay-Z.  As he explained to MTV:

“After my last album, I know where my bread and butter is at.  I know 75 percent [of the people who buy my album] are women who love Timbaland and most are the women who watch ‘Desperate Housewives’ and all those others. I did this research. It’s the women who watch ‘Sex and the City,’ ‘Desperate Housewives’ — all the real go-to-the-bar women like Timbaland, and mostly European women. It lets me know that my fanbase is mostly women and they are from all cultures. So it’s not a person who loves mostly hip-hop. It’s a person who loves everything besides hip-hop.”

At least he’s being honest.  Plus, Timbaland’s been churning out radio-friendly pop jams for a minute now, so I doubt his musical transition will be a radical one.

Anyways, to commemorate his departure, here’s Wale freestyling over a Timbaland beat, courtesty of 2dopeboyz: Wale – Say Something (freestyle)

Album Reviews Featured

Wale releases “Attention Deficit”

Attention DeficitWale, the widely-acclaimed D.C. rapper, has finally dropped his debut album, Attention Deficit.  The darling of the indie hip-hop crowd (are they still called backpackers?), Wale has spent the past two or three years meticulously engineering a reputation as a talented lyricist and astute pop culture scrutineer.  From “doing justice to Justice,” to dropping a Mixtape About Nothing, to rising up with The Roots, Wall to the A (whose real name is Olubowale Akintimehin) has mastered the art of raising expectations; to say that his first major label attempt was highly anticipated would be an understatement.

Clocking in at 14 songs, Attention Deficit has an expansiveness that belies its modest track list.  Wale, trying to refute recent accusations that he lacks personality, touches on a surprising range of topics, jumping almost at random from “persona to persona.”  Meditations on “insecurity, bulimia, infidelity, intra-racial discrimination, self-loathing and coked out, aspirational celebrities” form the basis for an ambitious, almost experimental, record.

The results, I think, are mixed.  On “Shades” and “Diary” (featuring Marsha Ambrosius doing her best Michael Jackson impersonation), Wale’s remarkably candid thoughts on race and relationships are sincere and profound.  I was initially disappointed by “TV in the Radio,” on which K’Naan at first seems to absolutely steal the show, but after repeated listens, Wale’s clever punch-line laden verse (on whack emcees: “It’s utterly baloney / so I’m Muslim to these rappers”) is growing on me.

Less impressive are “Let it Loose” and “Chillin,” the Lady Gaga collaboration Wale made to appease his label:

Attention Deficit’s beats are similarly varied.  Spanning saccharine commercialism (“90210”), grimy funk (the excellent “Mirrors” featuring Bun B) and an homage to go-go (the irresistible “Pretty Girls”), the album is nothing if not sonically diverse.  The beats are also more complex and polished than most of the beats on Wale’s mixtapes – an obvious benefit, I suppose, of having money to spend on big-name producers like Mark Ronson, The Neptunes and Cool and Dre.

Reaction to Attention Deficit has been generally favourable so far.  Metacritic, for example, has it pegged at 77 based on 11 reviews.  I tend to agree: the album is certainly no classic, but its successes outweigh its failures, and it boasts enough solid hip-hop tunes to ensure multiple listens.  Wale’s creativity and willingness to branch out are a welcomed and refreshing break from the predictability of the hip-hop mainstream.  Ultimately, Attention Deficit is a flawed but promising debut, its occasional poor decisions tempered by flashes of raw talent and potential, and it mostly lives up to Wale’s carefully-cultivated reputation.

Buy Attention Deficit on Amazon or iTunes.

Listen to: “TV in the Radio” featuring K’Naan (courtesy of Surviving the Golden Age), “Mirrors” featuring Bun B and “Diary” featuring Marsha Ambrosius (courtesy of Culture Bully).

Music

Analog Giant: Wale featuring Lady Gaga video.

Analog Giant, a blog I tend to like for the most part, posted this monstrosity of a video.  To be fair to them, they didn’t endorse it at all.

This is a Wale and Lady Gaga collabo.  I think my head just snapped thinking about it.

Up until this point I’ve been a fan of Wale.  He’s been a pretty good performer and adventurous, to boot.  He put out the Mixtape about Nothing a while back, which was a Seinfeld-based rap album.

This is too far.  It’s almost like he’s trying to be Kanye.  Maybe it was meant to be ironic?  I can only hope so.

Music

Budos Band Make Funky Afro-Soul

Last night was the final evening of Victoria’s annual JazzFest.  As a way of thanking its volunteers, the Jazz Society allowed anyone with a volunteer badge into the festival’s final show, which featured a group I had never heard of before – Staten Island’s Budos Band.

Thanks to the magic of Google, I quickly learned what Budos Band is all about.  Signed to Daptone Records – home of Sharone Jones & The Dap-Kings – the band describes their sound as “Afro Soul,” a mix of Ethiopian music, soul, and “a little bit of sweet 60’s stuff.”  Although I couldn’t detect any Ethiopian influence from the tracks on their Myspace (although, to be honest, besides Ethiopiques I’m a complete novice when it comes to Ethiopian music), I was impressed by their ability to channel the deep, classic vibes of early ’70s pre-disco funk.

And, if you’re a Wale fan, you’ll be happy to know that the band played on his Mixtape About Nothing.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to make it to their show.  I’m sure it was damn good though.  For more proof, check out two tracks from their 2007 album II.

Budos Band – Chicago Falcon (II, 2007)

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Budos Band – Budos Rising (II, 2007)

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Music

Wale’s video from “The Mixtape about Nothing”

Wale is an artist who we’ve covered many times before,

The Mixtape About Nothing is a pretty dope concept for an album.  As we’ve noted, it’s a hip hop mixtape inspired by Seinfeld.  Tons of little samples taken from the show, along with some solid rhyming.

The first video is out, called “My Integrity”.

Music

Wale’s ‘Mixtape About Nothing’ drops (Free Download)

For those of you who’ve been paying attention, we’ve been hyping up Wale for a little while now.

Wale has been working on a Seinfield-inspired mixtape, amusingly called the “Mixtape about Nothing“.  I haven’t given it a listen yet, but it’s up and available for download thanks to Elitaste.

Click here to go download it.

Just to get an idea, here’s the tracklist:

TRACK LISTING
1. “The Opening Title Sequence” (produced by Best Kept Secret)
2. “The Roots Song Wale Is On” f. Chrisette Michele (produced by ?uestlove & James Poyser)
3. “The Feature Heavy Song” f. Bun B, Pusha T and Tre from UCB (produced by Best Kept Secret)
4. “The Freestyle (Roc Boys)”
5. “The Perfect Plan” (produced by Best Kept Secret)
6. “The Kramer” (produced by Best Kept Secret)
7. “The Crazy” (produced by Best Kept Secret)
8. “The Vacation From Ourselves” (produced by Best Kept Secret)
9. “The Remake of A Remake (All I Need)” f. Tawiah (produced by Mark Ronson)
10. “The Grown Up” (produced by Best Kept Secret)
11. “The Manipulation” (produced by Best Kept Secret)
12. “The Artistic Integrity” (produced by Best Kept Secret)
13. “The Star”
14. “The Skit (Untz Untz)”
15. “The Cliche Lil Wayne Feature (It’s The Remix baby!)” (produced by Osinachi)
16. “The Bmore Club Slam” (produced by Scottie B)
17. “The Chicago Falcon Remix” f. The Budos Band (produced by Mark Ronson & Eli Escobar)
18. “The Hype” (produced by Best Kept Secret)
19. “The End Credits” (produced by Best Kept Secret)

[Source: Okayplayer]

Music

Wale = Saviour Of Hip-Hop?

Unless you’ve been living in a cave for the past year, or you just recently decided to give the whole internet thing a shot and this is the first website you’ve ever visited, you’ve heard about Wale. Even 4080 is on the ball when it comes to this dude; check out an earlier post Angry wrote about Wale’s upcoming Seinfeld mixtape project, the Mixtape About Nothing.

So why all the hype? Well, if you believe CMJ, it’s because, like the “recent line of Commons, Kanye Wests and Lupe Fiascos,” the Washington D.C.-based rapper has the potential to “straddle the line between mainstream and indie rap.” By fusing the up-tempo, effervescent funk of D.C.’s go-go movement with clever, punch-line laden rhymes and covers of current hits, Wale does indeed appeal to a broad audience. Indie hipsters love him for his remixes (Wale’s rhymed over Lilly Allen’s “Smile“, Amy Winehouse’s “Rehab” and Justice’s hit “D.A.N.C.E.” as well as hip-hop classics like Common’s “The Light” and Ghostface’s “Daytona 500”) and hip-hop heads are going bananas for his ridiculous raps (“Good rappers ain’t eatin, they Olsen twinnin'”). To date Wale has released three mixtapes, all of which continue to receive love from music blogs of every stripe. 

As a result of his success and subsequent exposure, Wale gained the attention of several record labels. In April, he signed a record deal with producer Mark Ronson’s Allido Records, whose albums are distributed by Interscope. The question now is whether Wale can translate his underground popularity into mainstream success.  Deprived of the ability to cover current hits, will he still appeal to heads outside of the DMV (the D.C.-Maryland-Virginia area)? I hope so.

In the meantime, check out some of Wale’s best tracks, including his guest appearance on The Roots’ new album Rising Down.

Wale – W.A.L.E.D.A.N.C.E. (100 Miles and Running, 2007)

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45 King vs. Wale – P.Y.R.A.M.I.D. (Sammy Bananas Mix) (?, 2008)

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The Roots ft. Wale & Chrisette Michele – Rising Up (Rising Down, 2008)

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To download all 3 Wale mixtapes, visit Werd 2 Big Bird.

Music

Wale reveals details of ‘Seinfeld’ mixtape

D.C. native Wale (pronounced Wall-ay) is supposed to be the next big thing in hip-hop. A quick youtube search provides a bunch of his videos, and I have to say it’s not entirely my style. No matter what, I guess you have to admit that he does have some talent. Check out the freestyle below.

Plus, he earns major points for his upcoming project. The aptly-titled “Mixtape about nothing” is inspired by Seinfeld. He’s a big fan of the show, and seems to want to incorporate it into his music. Apparently he even managed to coax Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Elaine, to those who don’t know) to come out and record a little skit for an interlude. Now that is dedication.

Keep an eye out for this one. It may actually be good.

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