April 2nd, 2012
Formats: CD, MP3
Release Date: November 1, 2011
Washington D.C. native Wale recently released his highly anticipated sophomore album Ambition, exactly two years after his widely acclaimed debut. Born Wale Victor Folarin to Nigerian immigrants, he began his rise to the top in 2006 with his song “Dig Dug,” which caught the attention of producer Mark Ronson. Shortly thereafter he was signed to Ronson’s label, Allido Records, which released several of his mixtapes and led to national media exposure. Wale released his first album, Attention Deficit, under Interscope Records in 2008 and spun off the singles “Chillin’,” “Pretty Girls,” and “World Tour.” Even though Attention Deficit received good reviews, Interscope failed to promote Wale as an artist, which led him to sign with Rick Ross’s Maybach Music Group in 2011.
Ambition has 15 songs featuring collaborations with well-known artists such as Big Sean, Miguel, Ne-Yo, Jeremih, Lloyd and Kid Cudi. The album spun off the hit single “Lotus Flower Bomb,” which soared to a top 10 position on Billboard’s R&B/ Hip-Hop charts. This song, which features Miguel, has a great hook and musical selection, and the music video does a nice job of illustrating Wale’s lyrics:
As an artist, Wale has slowly gained recognition in the music industry with his songwriting skills, poetic flow, and collaborations that make him stand out as a rapper. His down to earth lyrics relate to life and everyday struggles that people can identify with. On “Legendary,” another track from Ambition, Wale points out how far he can go without fame and money. The title track, “Ambition,” follows in the same vein as “Ambitious Girl” from his mixtape More About Nothing; it is a lyrical expression of how far your dreams can take you and urges you to push towards them.
People are drawn to Wale because of his “realness” and ambition to succeed. His sophomore album, Ambition, has exceeded people’s expectations, with poetic lyrics and beats that don’t let you skip a song.
Reviewed by Allyson Cannon
Review Genre(s): Rap and Hip-Hop