@Judahonthebeats Choose Wisely Video

Monday, November 23, 2009

The Wale Situation: Via Hypebeast.com & Phillip T. Annand

Here's a interesting write up on one of the BIGGEST sites in the WORLD! I thought I would share it with the DMV! 

The Wale Situation

Prologue: I have an enormous amount of respect for those who claim the DMV as their home. I realize that certain aspects of this article may inspire the hords of the DC faithful to try to hang me with a noose of SB laces but trust and believe that I only write what I feel and my opinion really means nothing at the end of the day. DMV folks, I still love you.

So let’s put this out there right off of the bat ok? I was never a big Wale guy. I have some friends who would rather listen to Benzino freestyle for three hours than download a Wale song, and I have some friends who swear up and down that Wale is the truth.

Despite not being a big fan, I’ve been well aware of this fellow’s track record over the past two years as he was being heralded as the MC that would put the DMV on the map. Fast-forward now to November 10th, 2009 and Wale is putting out his first major label debut Attention Deficit. An album that I could not escape like Snuggie commercials on late night TV. This body of music has not only been hyped from here to the mother land and back again, but it has received the biggest promotional push I’ve seen in years for any artist’s first album.

With those being the facts, I figure what the hell. Let me uphold my duty as a law breaking citizen of the 21st century and download this album and give it a fair chance. I would give the guy who’s name no-one-could-pronounce-at-first a shot at proving that he lived up to the hype I had endured hearing for the past two months. Well, what follows is my reaction. And in case you’e somewhat sesitive, I’ll warn you now that I’m not rushing out to purchase any “Nike boots” in which to do a W.A.L.E. D.A.N.C.E.

My very first impression? They really, really, really tried to sell this album. Take a look at the roll call of artists present on nine out of fourteen total tracks. Literally everyone from arguable legends like Pharrell and Bun B to heavy radio hitters like Gucci and Rihanna. (That’s not to mention fellow up and comers Chrisette Michelle, J.Cole or Marsha Ambrose.) They jam packed this disc with more collaborations than Nike SB had in 2007 and yet somehow I’m not convinced.

Follow me on this one. If Wale is the man who is going to not only put the DMV on the map, but also be one of the biggest forces in helping to usher in a new school of rappers…you’d think he would absolutely impress me on at least a few songs on his album right? I mean with some sort of lyrical mastery that would absolutely shatter my ear drums and lead me to hug the nearest dollar bills and coints next to me because they are as close to Washington D.C. as I can get right?

Where was that on the album? Since the very first day that I hear a Wale track, probably somewhere around two years ago. I have never been blown away by his skills on the microphone. There is something lacking to me, maybe it’s his voice, maybe it’s that he was so closely tied to a sneaker culture I was exiting at the time he came out or maybe it’s just plain and simple the fact that as a rapper he is just good at best.

Take a serious look at it. When I think of the other up and coming rappers in the game-I’m talking about a Drake, J.Cole, Pac Div, Blu, hell even throw Cudi in there. They have all at least once succeeded in make me stop, nod my head and go, “Damn, yeah he deserves the hype. That was ridiculous.”

I am not getting this from Wale.

The album has production of epic proportions. “Let It Loose” had the potential to be so over played that it would be annoying despite the genius hook from Razor Scooter/Skateboard/Roller Blade P or whatever we’re calling Pharrell today. But as soon as Wale got into his first verse… I literally tuned the song out. As soon as the hook came back? I was back into it, but Wale succeeded once again in losing me over the course of his verses.

There’s some light on the album. Prescription has some amazing production and some verses from Wale that are highly listen-to-able but again not stunning. The man has talent and I respect the degree to which he’s promoted himself and succeeded to date but to all my brethren out there calling out his name in adulation. Is this really the savior of the DMV? The fore bearer of the new movement? He’s cool guys I suppose but I don’t feel like this is the best out there. I think there needs to be some competition, maybe from the DMV, maybe from somewhere else but this can’t really be it?

From the amount of hype so many of you guys gave him, the absurd supporting cast assembled around Wale to make the album a success and the largely genius production throughout Wale still failed to make me a believer.

No par intended for those who are a fan of the man, all the more power to you. I even took it easy on him in this article. There’s a lot of things that could have been brought to light here but I feel like it’s counter productive to really shape any one’s thoughts who may be reading this and accepting it as truth without listening for themselves.

The essential problem is this.

I just feel as though maybe Wale was raised onto a platform to be a savior and star and perhaps maybe we all moved a little fast in choosing him to be the artist standing on that platform. Hell, I’m not even sure Wale wants to be on that platform.

At some point I think there needed to be a step back and analyzing of this man’s skill and ability to ‘wow’ on a track before we all cosigned his proclamation as rap’s “prescription” in his own words. That goes for everyone from the DMV to L.A. and in between. Best of luck to the artist on future releases. I’ll be listening, and should he inspire, paying for the music as well.

Stay Safe-Phil.


Tony_25_Macq said...

Aight so Phil obviously isnt a fan.

But hate him or love him Wale does have a dedicated fan base. And he is wrong when he says interscope "really tried to sell this album". Cus if they really tried to sell it one of the two Best Buys in the city would have had the damn album.

TonyB said...

I must first reply by saying... Yes, I believe that Attention Deficit was a bad 1st album. No track really stood out and I was disappointed. What disappointed me the most was that for many people this would really be their first time hearing Wale and he didn't live up to the hype.... HOWEVER.... Do you really think Drake is a better rapper? Seriously? Cudi? C'mon dawg let's be serious. Drake has a nice flow and he's witty, but he's not rapping about anything at all. Cudi is so-so. While Wale's first album was not hitting, he is well deserving of his spot. The nigga spits fire. You mentioned waledance and Nike Boots and he was killing both of those tracks. In my opinion Wale and B.O.B are the closest to ushering a new era of rap. He missed the mark this time, but I don't understand how anybody can listen and just write him off.

Anonymous said...

this dudes exactly right. 9 records outta 14 had a feature on it in which he was overshadowed, meaning, "interscope really tried to sell this album." i mean cmon, wales delivery isnt professional. his wordplay isnt unique. he vocab is very 10th grade. his swag is undeniable tho, which in hand has his fans ready ta fight for him no matter wat. which is fine and cool but when it comes to this music the guy falls short. if u are this "saviour" ur label wudda had confidence enuff n u ta limit all them damn guest appearances. this aint no free for all. no "dmv" collabs tho huh lmao! hes not good enuff yet. cudi sold 100k first week. numbers dont lie, hes better. drake, no need ta explain (replacement girl is betta than anything wale has ever done! bwahaha!). he not fuckin wit them. buzz/hype/skills anything wise. its good he puttin on for us but i rather he go bak in the lab and work on sumthin thats gon help us stay in the game. we had ppl tryta put on for us b4 and failed b/c their material was subpar. once again we hav a subpar artist bein at the forefront, which isnt his fault, its ours. we needta help mold the talented artist here. we hav a few, but like xo say, we jus some crabs in a barrel mayne, wass good judah lol!

Anonymous said...

First of all i wanna say this. It seems like the only post Wale gains on here is mostly negative. I didn't even see a post informing people his album dropped.

Now on Paint A Picture mixtape i became a Wale fan. After he signed his deal I think he became a conformer and another rapper.

When his "artistic integrity," separated his from everybody else. Interscope took that from him but who are we to judge or expect him not to conform when you must conform to get the promotion and perks he did.

As far as the album yes he could of did better but its a good album. The Shades track is one of the best records to EVER come out of the DMV. Prescription....the lyrics in this song is just too beyond some of you motherfuckers.

See I'm a fan 1st...and as a fan I can appreciate what Wale is doing. He is bringing this city more attention than we have ever had in the music genre. Does he do it well? No....but he doin it!

He has put UCB in the forefront (though i canot agree with the music UCB is doing now. PAT YOUR WEAVE LADIES? and going back and forward on a track with Rock Micky. No offense Micky u know i got love for you but we all know he is not a rapper rapper, hes a gogo rapper). Also look what he did for Best Kept. He has gave them the chance to produce for some true industry folks, all with a gogo feel.

But ill end this by saying this....yes Wale is a hell of a lyricist. Yes he has been dumb down to be more marketable.

No i do not agree he should be the one to represent our city FIRST.

Its like if Currensy was the first rapper to put on New Orleans. He can rap like shit, he a good artist but....HE DOES NOT REPRESENT THE TRUE NEW ORLEANS. The tru style of the streets and urban areas of New Orleans. He is a bad first image. 2nd or 3rd...yes. But see Juvenile was the first representation, a good once he let us see what New Orleans really was.

So lets not hate Wale for not showcasing us well. Lets appreciate what is doing and the ok music he is giving us.

o ye and Drake is a better rapper...but not better lyricist


Opinions are like assholes - everybody's got one.

I will say this. The only people who said Wale was here to put DC (i mean the DMV) on the map, were Wale and his management/label (and subsequently a bunch of dick riders.)

REAL MCs in this town didnt crown this dude, like yeah he's the illest lets support him. It's all marketing and hype and bright sneakers. don't get it twisted.

Dude is talented, has great marketing, can rhyme but that doesnt make him JAY Z.

LOL, cause thats ALL he wants to be...

Anonymous said...

i support all dmv artists but this is very much close to the truth as it can get. There is so much that makes a great artist/rapper. The question for the population and for the ceo/ar's is who is an attention grabber, lyrics and all? unfotunately wale hasn't made that kind of music. I am talking stricting from an objective stand point. why waste all that capital(production,artist) on this project and come out with an album that doesn't even have a chance in going gold? this is a reflection of wale's talent (good,bad or between), his management (knowing what sounds good), and ceo's(deperate to grab some new ishhhh). for all the hip hop listeners that swear that a few hot lines make u a great artist .....you people have to wake up. what seperates top selling rappers with talent(pac,jay-z,biggie,nas,eminem,scarface,who ever.....) from everyone else is not only do they have the lyrics to express themselves, they have hit music, and the most important is THEY CONNECT EFFECTIVELY WITH THE MASSES! people love them from every walk of life. You waste alot of music capital on them because it shows. when jay-z makes a hit song , its a hit! and everyone wants to here it, whether you like him or not and he is spitting.We all know his music....lines,bars, verses,hooks....hit music!Where do you see that in wale's music.i do think that he is a developing talent but he is not being maketed as such. So in short i think that wale needed more time to develop before he was pushed that high up. shame .......DMV stand up

naw said...

judah is a hater and watch him not post this!

Tese Fever said...

Either way, I'm mad dude didn't do numbers and I just knew the poppy kids were going to buy it just cause of Chillin (which was a silly record if ya ask me) but it is what it is...

He's a GQ Man of the Year, he's bigger than big overseas, so he'll be okay. Not everybody's first record is the best, although in most cases it is the most memorable.

And.....Jay-Z didn't do numbers with Reasonable Doubt until he dropped HKL vol.2. The 3 albums in between (including the Streets Is Watching soundtrack) didn't get received well with the rest of the world at their release. So.....dude still has a shot. I'm backing him 100.

DJ Torkaveli said...

On the positive, he's a posterboy for bringing rap back to lyricism and for DMV rap (get mad so what I said it lol) and he's VERY talented...

...imo he didn't display his talent on the actual album. I think he's got a bad case of Chamillionaire syndrome (HOT mixtapes, ehhh okay album)

But... just by dropping an album and avoiding being shelved/dropped, he's done more than a lot of guys with deals couldn't do.

capitalI said...


This about sums up the post.


that said i thought the record was pretty strong.

Mr. 40. Watt said...

Why everybody got such high expectations 4 dude & getting so mad all da sudden 2 find out dat Wale is not super talented? Honestly I actually expected alot less from da CD cause unlike ya'll I'm not waiting 4 a Hip-Hop savior. Da day Pac died I knew da game was destined 2 spiral into a sea of wackness. Ya'll late I been peeped dat shit...LOL!!! I actually like da album so sue me...LOL!!! He's talking bout different principals of life every song like rappers used 2 do so go out & live 1 & get U're siskel & ebert fuckboy blogger look'n ass da fuck off da internet 24/7 & U just MIGHT understand da album & Hip-Hop in general a little better...LOL!!! Don't get me wrong I fell dat Wale's buzz & promotion are ALOT bigger than his talent is but he still does have talent tho!!! Alot of his songs are lacking something intangible but it's definitely not talent. In my opinion Wale is no where close 2 da best rapper in da DMV when it comes 2 flow, lyrics, swag, his story, or even talent but he's better than alot of new & old mainstream artists!!! If U ask me Hip-Hop been on da decline as far as quality goes since BIG & Pac died so don't hate da playaz hate da rap game...LOL!!!

- Mr. 40. Watt -






BIGHomieN8 said...

First of all, I liked the album. Definitely wasnt a classic album. One thing I can agree with is that he has brought some attention to the DMV area. Now all you so called hip hop/rappers and artist that claim they are better lyricists than Wale, (by the way, I know a handful of artist better than Wale) get up, get out and show improve. Wale is doing what you should be doing. Rule number one, the music will speak for itself. Much love for Wale for stepping up to bat for the DMV, but now that we have a base hit, we need an artist to step up and bring it home! I lobe the DMV, lets make it happen!


Anonymous said...

IMO i feel that he is doing the best he can and most folks would love to be in his shoes. Like he said in one of his songs if you think barack got it bad try being a rapper! the people will love one mintue than hate you the next. by saying dude is the best our area has to offer man that can be debated untill folks are blue in the face..but to say dude took full advantage of his opportunity i would agree. yall missing key factors once you sign on the dotted line yeah you still have your artistic integrity but it is the big wigs who get final say so on how they feel they should go about getting there investment back. So i would say just allow dude to make his way through his career even respect him for what he doing or just ignore it just dont hate something positive!

Te' said...

i think the album is good, a true artist represents himself and how he feels at any given moment, i think he did that. then u also have too be entertaining which comes with the flow, the delivery, the punchlines, wit, and overall production, i think he did well with that too. now if u don't relate to his content thats understandable, but he's expressing himself. the next true artist to come out of d.c. will of course be different cuz no two people are the same and maybe you'll relate to that artist more. everybody dont relate to scarface believe it or not. the problem is the way he's being marketed as d.c.s savior or maybe just being perceived as d.c.'s best. i've never actually heard him say he was the best tho. he's just one voice in the area and hopefully many more are to come.

Unknown said...

Honestly don't like him his music and were did he come from that dudes wack send him back to Africa