In the land where Go-Go music is king, mambo sauce is a requirement and everyone is called Moe, Wale is the prodigal son. In Washington D.C., names like Chuck Brown and Suga Bear are as iconic Biggie and Pac. Hip Hop in the Chocolate City has always played BJ Armstrong to the pots and pans sounds of Go-Go music. However, Wale has forced people to pay attention to music coming from the DMV (Washington D.C., Maryland, Virginia) providing a platform for other local artist to follow. Wale’s albums have had moderate success. His name is international but he is consistently ranked outside of the top ten when the best rappers of today are mentioned. On the heels of his last album, Wale drops a summer mixtape with, “Summer on Sunset” setting up for his rumored fifth studio album later on this year.
Wale has a history of making mixtapes that are better than his albums. Unfortunately, “Summer on Sunset” does not follow that same trend sounding like a man who left his talents in DC. Far too often we see him crooning through his spoken word flow with sappy songs and soft, mellow lyrics. Not a shot at Wale (Cause he will come for me), because I recognize his lyrical ability. This is the same man who once said “Write my shit so vicsous/yall like snitches you can’t see the pen”. Finding a standout track on “Summer on Sunset” is like finding a dollar in the toilet; is it really worth it. All the tracks stick together like uncooked spaghetti noodles with the only difference being the level of emotionless song cries.
Like it or not Wale has many faces. He is a Quintesson from Transformers complete with five different personalities’; lyricist, tender lover, dancer, singer and spoken word poet. He’s an enigma wrapped in a snuggie. Like Drake, there are times when many just want Wale to kill it but he comes softer than ice cream. At least Drake can sing a little bit and has a fan base that follows him strong. Outside of the DMV, Wale’s fans consist of single mothers and Chinese immigrants. However, Wale is one of the most well respected rappers amongst his peers. Sometimes rappers drop mixtapes that are completely different from what you would hear on their album. “Summer on Sunset” should not be the direction Wale is going in for his next drop or else pots and pans will reign supreme once again in the Nation’s Capital.