don’t believe the hype

Wale: Hype or Truth? by caseyly16

The Natural

Attention Deficit rundown after the JUMP

It’s here!!!!!

Context: After jumping onto the hip hop scene with a series of excellent mix tapes, Wale finally releases his long-awaited debut album, Attention Deficit.

1. Triumph: Excellent introduction to the Wale style. Youthful energy, playful bravado, and refreshing dosage of that Go-Go sound. Nice. 8/10

2. ┬áMama Told Me: Clean hook, decent beat (Dr. Dre’s version is much smoother). Don’t think the lyrics are anything special but we do get a nice insight into Wale as a human being. 8/10

3. Mirrors ft Bun B: lively Go-Go flavored beat + Wale’s slurred flow + Bun B’s guest appearance (he doesn’t steal the show) + content that’s been done already = 7/10

4. Pretty Girls ft Gucci Mane and Weensey: Would have been a great song, except that the sung hook by Weensey (?) is slightly distracting. Oh, and: What the fuck is a “Gucci Mane”??????????? 7/10

5. World Tour ft Jazmine Sullivan: Don’t know about you, but I love the throwback and the energetic feel of the song. Definitely gets me moving in the morning. Lyrically, it’s ADD at its finest. 9/10

6. Let It Loose ft Pharrell: This song is plain ugly to me…as in yuuuuuck. A few good lines here and there (Pharrell raps!), but the beat and the hook make me wanna cry in pain. 4/10

7. 90210: Thematically conscious with a pleasant musical execution but there’s a general lack of lyrical cleverness here. 7/10

8. Shades ft Chrisette Michelle: Beautiful song. Chrisette’s voice is absolute perfection on this track and Wale tackles his most challenging subject matter yet on this album: race. While his method of implementation is definitely more innovative on Nike Boots (speaking of which…where is that track?), it’s still very well done. Best track yet. 9.5/10

9. Chillin ft Lady Gaga: After not hearing this track for a few months, this track is actually better than I remember it. Wale’s on a swag-frenzy and the beat gives you an aggressive rush. Fast forward through that hook though. Anyone named “Gaga” is bound to sing like shit…and Lady Gaga doesn’t disappoint. 5/10

10. TV in the Radio ft K’Naan: This one’s a grower. One of the more innovative tracks on the album musically, but lyrically not mind-blowing. Wale kinda reminds me of Lupe being lazy on a random mixtape. K’Naan has one of those voices you love to hate, but he actually drops some fire. Gets a +1 for straying off of the beaten path…too bad the theme couldn’t do the same. 8/10

11. Contemplate: Sounds like a Wale/hip hop-version of Kanye’s 808’s and Heartbreak album. Takes a page outta the Game’s book and name-drops an entire celebrity Yellow Pages. Decent song, I suppose. 6/10

12. Diary ft Marsha Ambrosius: Clever song with dreamy production. Marsha’s beautiful voice nearly steals the show. I definitely appreciate Wale’s unique angle on tackling the theme of the opposite sex. 9/10

13. Beautiful Bliss feat Melanie Fiona and J. Cole: All I wanna do is eat/I’m like a freaky lesbian. Wale lets J. Cole loose on this feel-good joint, with mixed results. J. Cole’s verse sounds a bit out of place on this track…he simply has too much fire and hunger for this laid-back track. All in all, decent hook + good production + a fiery J. Cole verse = 8/10

14. Prescription: This is premium Wale right here…one of the best tracks on the album simply because this is Wale in his comfort zone delivering tight rhymes about the state of hip hop and, naturally, himself. Subtly inserts doctor/prescription references throughout the track. I love the ending statement – reminds us that he’s one of the breaths of fresh air in a year of stale hip hop. 10/10

Overall Rating: 7.5/10

Top Tracks: Prescription, Beautiful Bliss (J. Cole!), Diary, Shades, World Tour, Triumph


-Lush musical background (Go-Go style apparent here and there, but definitely not abused in any way)

-Lyrically ahead of most mainstream albums in 2009

-Nice guest appearances (Chrisette Michelle, Marsha, J.Cole)


-I know the name of the album was Attention Deficit, but a lack of a central theme to tie everything together might have been the album’s biggest fault.

-Couple of weak tracks (Let it Loose, Chillin) and weak guest appearances (Gucci Mane, Lady Gaga)

-Lyrically needs more content and sophistication

ALL IN ALL: An album to break up the monotony that is hip hop in 2009, but not a classic by any means. Highly listenable and thoroughly pleasant…making up with flavor and style where content is lacking. I would recommend you download a copy first, and if you do enjoy it, definitely go pick up a copy to support Wale.

This album is not just hype.


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