If ever there was an example of an artist whose career has matured to match their undeniable talent, it’s Wale. The man who broke through to tastemakers with mixtapes inspired by everything from Washington, DC based Go-go music to Seinfeld, has been considered one of Hip Hop’s biggest talents since before he released his first single “Chillin” with Lady Gaga on Mark Ronson’s Allido Records in 2009. He’s also an example that proves that talent needs to be matched with the right blend of timing, and the opportunity of properly used resources in order for it to reach it’s full potential. After years of hard work, and his last album Ambition debuting at number 1 on the Billboard 200, we’re excited to think that he’s only reaching that circumstantial sweet spot with what lies ahead.
Wale’s talent has been appreciated by anyone who’s ever really cared to listen, but that talent didn’t begin to be matched commercially until signing with Roc Nation management and Maybach Music Group in 2011. From what we can deduce, this was that blend of timing and resources he needed. Rick Ross had the attention of the Hip Hop game as a growing dominant brand, and that set an agenda for a bigger Wale audience, even if only by osmosis. Once he got that audience, Wale hit them with “Lotus Flower Bomb,” a melodically refined R&B/Hip Hop jam that featured R&B crooning by Miguel. It was perfect for radio and BET’s 106 and Pak, and turned out to be exactly what he needed.
Now as he’s set to release The Gifted as Maybach’s first album to come from its new deal with Atlantic Records, he has nowhere to go but up. The album’s fist single “Bad” has been on a steady build since its release in February, and hits the melodic bar set by “Lotus Flower Bomb.” It was co-written and produced by the song’s featured hook singer, Tiara Thomas. Everything about her indicates that she’s a promising new talent to watch, and everything about Wale indicates that he’s only just getting started. Remember, he hasn’t even released The Gifted, and he’s already announced plans for an album with comedy superstar Jerry Seinfeld. It will be called, The Album About Nothing.
The Gifted is set for release on June 25th. Check out “Bad” below and see what you think. For more on Wale’s work with Jerry Seinfeld, click here.
Wale Featuring Tiara Thomas
From The Gifted
Maybach Music Group/Atlantic Records
Wale Featuring Miguel
“Lotus Flower Bomb”
Maybach Music Group/Warner Bros. Records
Wale Featuring Lady Gaga
From Attention Deficit