November 18, 2009

Album Review: Attention:Deficit

Wow where do I start?? I been following and supporting Wale for a couple years now, it’s unfortunate that I can’t say I was there supporting his music from the beginning but when I was introduce to his music by a DMV* belle, XOXO Hadi, one day at my apt at school it was something I connected with instantly. There was something special and unique about his wordplay and delivery that had me captivated. He had me questioning in my head like “Who is this guy? He is actually nice, who is he signed to? Is he really from DC??“ Uptown Roamers was actually the first track I heard I and even though I had never visit the DMV* area to know what areas he was talking about I just like how well the song was put together. As much as I didn’t want to tell XOXO Hadi who had introduced me to Wale’s music I became an instant fan.

I was exposed to Wale again when I attended Jordan Brand All American Game at MSG and Wale performed “Nike Boots” the sound system was bad so all we could hear was the hook. I went back to school and clowned Wale to XOXO Hadi. I definitely went on to YouTube and listen to the track and was thrown away by how creative this dude was with his words. I later told my boys like “Yo that Nike Boots track is nice bra!!” Laughter later followed but I was dead serious but sometimes you can’t beat something over the head of your friends sometimes so I fell back but kept listening to Wale. Fast forward a little bit to the first mixtape I downloaded “Mixtape about Nothing” certified classic mixtape, with that under my belt I went full promotion telling everybody that I could about Wale. Some of my friends responded with “Who Dat??” and then there was some who said “Oh yeah I heard of him he from DC, Nike Boots guy.” I remember introducing W.A.L.E.D.A.N.C.E. to my little brother and that was when he began to take Wale serious.

Who would of thought it would be the same little brother who had the vision to notice that Wale was in Penn Station and was about to walk right past us. I told my brother “Yo dude looks just like Wale!! [Points finger at Wale]” My brother responds “Nigga that is Wale…Wale!!!” Wale turns and looks, “Oh shit that’s really him.” By this time I became a real big fan already so I didn’t know what to say. We walk up to Wale and shakes hand with him. My brother says to Wale”Im a fan of your music, keep working hard bra.” I remember posting it “Easter Update” post of that whole event on here.

Then fast forward to my roommate Mike V finding tickets for a Wale show in the city. I went with the roommates to his show. Great show got my first look at J Cole at this show. I got a dollar bill signed by Wale this helped me get over not taking a picture with him at Penn Station. Then I got the Back to the Feature mixtape and that was another great mixtape, so as avid fan I had to go back and get every mixtape that he ever released [All quality mixtapes if I may say]. I take a trip to the DMV area to visit XOXO Hadi with my little brother and we go to this club with my brother Club Fur I think and come to find out Wale is set to perform there too. Wale goes and performs and these chicks start fighting and I really applaud security they got both of them girls out of there fast as hell. Talk about sweating out weave!!! Then came performances at the VMA’s, BET Awards and other public appearances where I would receive texts from the Nwosu twins just to brag about their Naija superstar. They had good reason too because of extreme progress Wale was making throughout the industry. Till this day I laugh when I get a text from them pertaining Wale. That was my only thing that I could confess that was great that came out of DMV, even though they have talented R&B artists. But back to this album review, you see how I catch ADD myself lol.

Now the album drops Attention: Deficit, and it’s such a surreal feeling that the artist I was promoting to everybody I could finally made it and his album is out. Though it got undershipped to most Targets and Best Buy, I get my hands on a copy so now it’s time. I believe in Wale enough that I know he will always spit some heat on tracks. After hearing the album I must say he made a great album. It’s so much diversity on this album you got your hard tracks “Triumph”, “Mirrors” and “TV in the Radio”. Then you have your club songs “Chillin” and “Pretty Girls”, melodic feel good tracks “World Tour”, “Mama Told Me”, “Beautiful Bliss”; murky and gloomy tracks “Contemplate”, “90201”, and “Diary”; and last but not least African music inspired track “My Sweetie” which contains a sample from Let Me Love You by Bunnie Mack. This album requires close listening to fully understand the words surgeon of an artist that you have with Wale. The metaphors are impressive but he can also depict stories for you, like in “90201” he talks about a female who is bulimic, addicted to cocaine, and chasing a dream of being a celebrity. Then you have “Diary” who about a girl who is just too hurt to love Wale back, while Wale is trying to show her his eternal love to her. Also have to note the amazing spoken word towards the end of the track. Another nice tale that I found most really relate to is “Shades” where he raps about Wale growing up being alienated because he was Nigerian and not being accepted by his African American peers in school. One of my brother’s favorite track because he grew up being the dark, always ashy-peasie-head little kid, while I was the brown skin older brother with the nice hair lol. Another aspect of the album is the soulful feel it breathes off.

With features from Chrisette Michelle, Jazmine Sullivan, Melanie Fiona, and Marsha Ambrosius that is an amazing soulful lineup. I adore each and every one of them and they all provided great features to Attention: Deficit. Then you have pleasant features from Pharell, J Cole, K’Naan, Bun-B, Weensey from Backyard Band, and Gucci Mane. I really have to note that J Cole bodied Beautiful Bliss, K’Naan surprised me with his feature on TV in the Radio, I heard of his music but he definitely impressed me with his wordplay “I’m Somalia so that just mean I’m trying to eat bread/ F*ck with my people well that’s call the Heath Ledge”. Gucci was a nice addition to Pretty Girls and he did sound comfortable on the go-go inspired production. With all that said in a place where real Hip Hop is in a recession Wale brings us our 16 track stimulus package. Like he says in “Prescription”: “They itching for a new breath well here’s the calamine/ and I refuse to camouflage with other guys.” I couldn’t put it any better than that.

Blame my homegirl Ebi for pushing me to make this post, I hope you find this post intriguing and please go out and support Wale and get the album, it was really under shipped by his management but it should be in stores by now don’t let the first week numbers(he sold 28k) discourage you. It’s really a great album.

*DMV- It’s a term used to describe the DC metro area. DMV stands for DC, Maryland, Virginia.


AB BABY said...

Niiiice. I understand what you were tellin me about your writing, but the biggest thing I noticed is that you write like you talk (most of us do) It's good cus it adds your personal touch by havin your voice shine through but bad cus it makes it hard to follow sometimes. Like I said, just keep working on it!

::round of applause:: Good looks B

AB BABY said...

BTW... let's talk about how much I LOVE "Pretty Girls" "Diary" "90210" "Shades" & "My Sweetie" (yea that's definitely the startin 5)