Last week, DMV native Wale released his debut album, Attention Deficit, to an audience who has been up in the air about his potential for a while. Throughout the day, I’d seen mixed reviews about him lyrically but there was a general consensus stated: he’s passionate about his success and Attention Deficit is a well rounded piece of work.
HOWEVER, we all know that I don’t go by public opinion or critics when it comes to what I like so I don’t really pay this much mind. I fell in love with this album at first listen, and no one is gonna change my opinion of Wale.
The guy is greatness.
What other rapper out here right now is gonna put on wax his former thoughts of self-loathing due to a skin tone complex [“Shades” featuring the lovely vocals of one Chrisette Michele]? I felt him all through that song, and all through this album and rappers aren’t doing that for me these days. Yes, I’ll bop to a track and even rock an album to damn death, but I haven’t connected to not one thing a rapper’s said on a track except Wale in recent history.
Attention Deficit, Wale has stated, is a compilation of his personal experiences and thoughts. He’s not overdoing it by bragging on material things or killing everybody on the record, which is so refreshing. What I dug so much about this project is that he went in with no fear; he gave us a piece of him and you could tell that it may have been a risk but it’s well worth it.
From songs depicting a girl’s aspirations of fortune and fame [“90210”] to a boastful track celebrating his position as left of everyone else’s right with the help of another underground artist, K’naan [“TV In The Radio”], Wale’s album contains elements of himself that would otherwise have no place anywhere else. On the Gucci Mane-aided track, “Pretty Girls”, the go-go beat brings me back to my childhood in Virginia where you couldn’t breathe without hearing go-go all around you. A bonus track, “My Sweetie”, takes us back to Africa for three minutes and thirty-seven seconds, and I wasn’t mad at him at all.
Other stand-out tracks include the awesome collaboration with former Floetry member Marsha Ambrosius entitled “Diary”, the Neptunes-produced and Pharrell-assisted “Let It Loose” [I could totally see this as a single], and the freshman class track “Beautiful Bliss” featuring new artists Melanie Fiona and rated next emcee J. Cole; this song is extra special and I can totally see myself blasting this on a summer day cruising down the street.
If I had a car =)
“Center of Attention” wraps up the album [if you bought the bonus track version from iTunes, I love Apple], and it pretty much reads every last one of us for our sick obsession with celebrities and fame. Everything he says is absolutely true, but unfortunately I don’t think any of that will ever cease because it’s become an industry within itself and once that happens, it’s the final nail in the coffin. I hear what he’s saying, though; getting wrapped up in other people’s lives does nothing for our own come-up and people need to realize that.
Attention Deficit forces you to ask yourself: “what am I doing to bring something new to the table?”. No matter what anybody says, Wale is on the fast track to stardom, as long as we spread the word and get people to wake up to this creative talent that’s being presented to us.
To purchase Attention Deficit, check out iTunes for the bonus track version and get familiar with something new.
Stay COOL, folks.