Olubowale Vitor Akintimehin better known as Wale has dropped his newest critically acclaimed album, “Ambition.” Often talked about and ridiculed, he proved his ability to successfully create a name for himself with successful mixtapes and a strong following out of the DMV area.
Two years have passed since 2009’s “Attention Deficit” and after signing with Rick Ross and his Maybach Music Group, it seems as though Wale is now a house hold name. Wale is a diverse artist, but many complained he has changed his style only to conform to his new family at MMG. Wale once stated, “I make my own music I can be signed to anywhere….my topics are different from others on the label.” Many perceive Wale’s “new” sound as selling out, but whatever the opinion of the public they are buying into it. “Ambition” came in at #2 on the Billboard 200 music charts, selling over 100,000 units in the first week. “Ambition” is comprised of 15 tracks of pure talent, hard hitting beats, and substance.
Wale makes his ambition known early in the album’s opening, with the presumptuous statement on the opening track “Don’t Hold Your Applause”: “Tired of making money….on to making history.” Many can agree that in this day and age, many rappers tend to focus on the same subjects of money, women, drugs, sex and on many occasions, violence. These topics have been deemed the only things “important” in this generation, which is sad to say, depressingly true. Wale conveys the many different problems that are affecting black communities without having to stand on a soapbox. The track ‘DC or Nothin’ is a prime example:
“Making love to the streets/They be lustin’ for bread/They ain’t sleeping until they know every customer fed/When the city was chocolate there was death in their ears/all I’m hearing is AIDS, I ain’t deaf in my ears.”
Many argue Wale took the safe way out with this album by not digging deeper as he is sometimes known for, but there are few rappers who even skim the surface, probably scared it will negatively affect their record sells. There are many rappers who say absolutely nothing, but you can catch plenty of people repeating each line verbatim. Wale doesn’t talk about just sex; he talks about relationships. “Sabotage” is such a vulnerable track, about a past relationship and how he regrets its ending, is a record that you won’t see a lot of rappers do.
You can’t deny the fact that Wale is enjoying his “stardom”, and why shouldn’t he? Even on the more mainstream tracks like “Lotus Flower Bomb” and “White Linen”, you can’t deny his versatility. Wale is striving not to be famous or make money; he wants to be a legend.
“Ambition over everything…and I never plan on settling.”
Everyone is entitled to their own opinion of how they may feel about Wale, but one thing you can not deny is the truth in his music…just listen.
Brittini Palmer is a reporter for the Richmond Voice and an analyst for Capital One. She graduated Magna Cum Lade from Virginia Union University with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Mass Communications and Journalism. She was initiated into the Beta Epsilon chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated, and served as Miss Virginia Union University 2010-2011.