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Wale’s “Ambition” Album Review

November 1, 2011 · Posted in Music, pictures, reviews, tracklist · 22 Comments 

They gon’ love me for my ambition

When Rick Ross formed his own Miami Heat-style squad, Maybach Music Group would be the next of the great music powerhouse teams like G.O.O.D. Music, YMCMB, RocNation, etc. With the streets and the blogs on smash, Ross would align a small powerful cast of musicians. An MC from DC, named Wale is part of this cast. After an unsuccessful freshman album, Attention Deficit, Wale is hungry to prove the naysayers wrong. As his sophomore album reaches the masses, it is only evident that Ralph is planning to stay relevant in the game.

Now with a solid Maybach Music/Warner Bros. backing him, Falorin is feeling the time is now and his strong followers won’t disagree. For those who are new to this movement, just remove all your negative comments out your way and prepare to see ambition at its peak.

KillerHipHop was pleased and honored to be invited to Wale’s “Ambition” listening session and check out our review after the jump.

Don’t Hold Your Applause
For all who have followed Wale’s career, you should know his grind to where he is now. While many are just now catching on, Wale’s day one fans know what he has been about for years now. As the opening track, Wale uses this intimate moment to tell all critics (new or old) to not hold their applause. Reassuring that what’s to come next is nothing you’ve ever heard. Clap on.

Double M Genius
It’s pretty much set in stone. Every great rapper has that one track to just go off on. So in this case, “Double M Genius” is Wale’s “Otis”. Being strictly dedicated to “fly talk” and wordplay. Ralph’s lyrical exercise has earned him that title among the best active young rappers.

Miami Nights
With Wale’s new clique consisting of Rick Ross, one can only imagine some of the things that go down on a Miami night with MMG. Hey, even LeBron took his talents down there. This track captures the feel of life in South Beach. With Wale’s love for LeBron’s shoes, its evident this would be an extravagant event. This is what happens when DC meets MIA.

streets are cold, and the beats is warm

Who are the trendsetters of tomorrow? Sure the greats had a hell of a run in their day, but who is working to be at the top of the game for the next generation? In this track, Wale is throwing his name in that pot and saying “I’m trying to become legendary”. With a “f*ck money, f*ck fame” mindset, Wale goes off on this DJ Toomp produced track like how no one else his age could. As things come and go, it’s about the rhyming now. And with Ambition, Wale is dedicating himself to earning that status in hip-hop.

Lotus Flower Bomb (feat. Miguel)
With a slew of hits releasing, Wale makes sure he channels his inner-poet. The metaphor of a lotus flower is sure to cater to his female fan base. The female fans have come to love Wale’s confidence to show an emotional, sensual, romantic side. Hearing Miguel’s smooth melodies all over the radio, this duet is the perfect one-two combo. (**fingers snapping**)

Chain Music
With an undeniably dope beat, Wale finds time to address his new wave of fans that are slowly, but surely, coming around harder than ever. The beauty behind this song is less obvious to listeners simply because of the catchy feel the radio loves. Yet, the irony behind it is how much knowledge he’s dropping on a radio ready instrumental. As Kendrick Lamar once said, “We don’t listen unless there’s an 808”. So with lines like “broads gon’ follow” Wale acknowledges his recent success is much due to his change of sound.

Focused (feat. KiD CuDi)
Knowing the past relationship between Kid Cudi and Wale, it’s a no-brainer to the anticipation behind this song. At this point in both of their careers, this duo fits for the concept. With Cudi expanding as a artist and even as an actor, persistence and diligence is important. For Wale’s first release under the Maybach Music/Warner Bros imprint, Ambition promises substance that makes it clear of where Cudi and Wale are at in their careers respectively and how they keep striving for excellence.

Sabotage (feat. Lloyd)
Just like the rest of Wale’s songs for women, “Sabotage” holds an up-tempo R&B rhythm. With Lloyd, Ralph brings a concept inspired by a two hour long argument with an ex-girlfriend. Wale uses his own personal experiences as examples of when a woman can sabotage her relationship by living in the moment. With a one-two step groove lead by a kickin’ drum pattern, this track really embraces the feel of a live band. Nonetheless, Wale never fails to indulge his female audience.

White Linen (Coolin) (feat. Ne-Yo)
A great deal of the tracks off Ambition feature R&B artists. With the crisp 2-step beat, Wale reaches out the Ne-Yo to bring that luxurious R&B sound. Knowing Ne-Yo’s appeal to women, the ladies are sure to bring out the white linen with the springtime feel to it.

Slight Work (feat. Big Sean)
Both having album releases this year, Wale and Big Sean are in position to shock the world. Although they bring you Slight Work, nothing has been slight about their work ethic these past few seasons. These two young spitters take a shot at Throne-esque Ping-Pong flow. With wordplay and punch lines coming a million miles a minute, B.O.A. meets Finally Famous to bless us all with a much-anticipated banger.

Ambition (feat. Meek Mill & Rick Ross)
With Ambition as the first solo project under Maybach Music since Self Made, this trio of rappers takes it upon themselves to build on their label. Invested energy, time, and money has brought MMG to where it is today. Despite the release of Attention Deficit, Wale looks at this coming release as his Chapter 1 of his career. In terms of a novel, Attention Deficit is the foreword to Wale’s overall career and won’t be understood until it’s all said and done.

Illest B*tch
As new and old fans have come to know Wale for his appreciation of the ambitious girl. The inspiration for this track comes from Wale observing hard-working single mothers. Over a catchy smooth synthesized groove, Wale brings the ladies to a concept along the lines of an “Ambitious Pt.3” and a melody produced by The Bizness

No Days Off
Consider this a reiteration of Ralph’s impeccable work ethic. With the same message he’s been delivering even before More About Nothing (the mixtape), Wale brings a new meaning to ‘no days off’. His drive and determination to become legendary leads him to lines like “Momma want me to find a wife…I got work to do.” Over a gritty guitar and rock style drum pattern, Wale tells listeners that taking breaks will leave you broke. The lyricism in the song is simply Falorin coming through with what his fans have loved, or at least going to love.

We can’t afford to fall

DC or Nothing
It’s funny what Wale and President Obama have in common; both have a great influence amongst the black community and both hold it down for DC. So without doubt, Wale gives us his ode to his city. From the city of mumbo sauce and Go-Go music, here comes hip-hop’s breath of fresh air.

That Way (ft. Jeremih & Rick Ross)
We’ve heard this song all over the country this past summer, so you guys already know how this feels to the public. Especially when it was on the collaborating, Maybach Music’s Self Made Vol. 1.

Overall, Wale has not failed to produce a great album. Although this is Wale’s sophomore effort, the body of work Ambition brings to hip-hop is a breath of fresh air and almost a clean slate for Wale’s career, as well. With lines such as, “They gon’ love me for my ambition,” Falorin ensures new and old listeners a pleasant surprise. With a complete sound turn-around from Attention Deficit, “Ambition” is proof of growth and persistence. Wale brings different sounds to the table as he will give you a fast paced beat then slow it down for the ladies in his R&B creations. Consider this a great work as Ralph knocks on the door of hip-hop’s ‘maybe’ legendary status. As for negative comments, his R&B collection in the album did go a little bit over board. He could of used less R&B artists and brought in more lyrical features for his ‘Ambitious’ project. If he continues on this road, he will get criticized for being a ‘soft’ rapper catering to the female audience. I give “Ambition” a solid 4 out of 5 KillerStars.

Grab your copy today!!!

“Ambition” in stores NOW! ( iTunes )

Written by Coryell White (@himoverdere)

Edited & Published by @DJEricKidd


22 Responses to “Wale’s “Ambition” Album Review”

  1. B.J on November 1st, 2011 10:15 pm

    ambition is alright. some good tracks, some bad.


  2. Omg Lol on November 1st, 2011 10:28 pm

    An okay album at best… Definitely not buying it. 2.5/5 Imo. Take Care (So far) WTT and Cole World def better. Section.80 or The Martyr for the best shit out this year. Ambition looks wack compare to these 5 projects.


    no Reply:

    @Omg Lol,
    damn right! although I wouldn’t overrate Take Care and btw
    Hell The Sequel> WTT


    NY Reply:

    WTT>any other major album released. everyone forgot about that wack ass hell the sequel album.


  3. Kicks on November 1st, 2011 10:36 pm

    Yes i agree Attention Deficit was a better album in my opinion but this album is worth the buy and listen cause it is an overall good album. i did expect better song selection and lyrics from Wale. Not a hater been a fan since the mixtape about nothing.


  4. Royal Swagness on November 1st, 2011 10:45 pm

    It’s a decent album. Tough album title, I loved most of the beats selection, Ross had somethin to do with that. For Me I like 9 out of 15 tracks. Wale brought his bars, nice joints for the ladies, with them street bangers, good balance. I’ll give him a 7 out of 10.


  5. yerboy on November 1st, 2011 11:56 pm

    Ambition is a dope album. Every beat was on point, he stayed true to himself, and he is a lyrical monster if you really listen to the words. I don’t see Take Care being a better RAP album. Drake is no where near Wale’ in terms of a true RAPPER. I give this album a 4/5. Nobody’s doing it like him. #NoDaysOff

    J. Cole, Kendrick Lamar, Wale, Big K.R.I.T, Lupe Fiasco <– My starting 5 of the next decade ..or 2


    e.dialect Reply:

    i agree with you.. and i wish that statement of the starting five rappers was to actually happen :/ i highly doubt that it will.. they don’t have the commercial appeal to people.. don’t get me wrong i love these guys music but as far as them and the mainstream i don’t see them intertwining too much.. i say that for kendrick and krit


  6. Jay More on November 2nd, 2011 12:00 am

    I really believed this album was gonna be epic but it did fall short.. when u watch the “making of ambition” videos is made me wanna believe but the album was okay.. it wasn’t as big a let down as LASERS but it wasn’t as good as cole world sideline story


    PRODUCTION EARNS 6/10 (if you aspiring for a Grammy this isn’t gonna cut it.. not hating they not bad beats but they aren’t Kanye or no id or stuff that will get you that groundbreaking type feel)

    LYRICS 7/10 (wale is dope as hell.. his flow is very unique and his topics are pretty good but i miss the days when raps weren’t over-saturated with metaphors or fly comparisons.. I wanna hear a verse that makes me replay without the fly lines)



  7. HoodRiddance on November 2nd, 2011 12:33 am

    Bought and and am in my first listen through.. Can’t rate it yet.

    But I will say I don’t think we should look at this as a totally clean slate. Attention Deficit had some great material on it, it was just ignored because of a Gaga feature and poor promotion. Let’s not totally throw it under the bus though, songs like Shades should not be forgotten


  8. Nikki on November 2nd, 2011 12:53 am

    Wale put it down on his track,”Lotus Flower Bomb(feat.Miguel).” He is definatley a perfectionist when it comes to great music from the soul. He speaks with trueth and long lived exsperiences to exsperssions of black issues that are felt all over the world which he sheds light on. It is a great feeling to know that a young brother like Wale was blessed enough to listen to his inner man an never gave up on his dream of exapression! Thanks for the lyrics that we love listening too that carry such a wonder DC beat!!!!!


  9. Nikki on November 2nd, 2011 12:56 am

    I was saying in closing to my reply,a wonderful DC beat!!!!


  10. jumbo on November 2nd, 2011 1:00 am

    Sigh.. Ima have to say Ambition was trash..
    More About Nothing > Ambition

    and no tats on my arm & bad girls club? Lotus Flower Bomb and bait were the only good tracks… pretty disappointed with all the hype he put out behind it..


  11. brennan on November 2nd, 2011 2:08 am

    album is straight. I give it a 3.5 out of 5. Finally Famous:The Album, WTT, and Cole World were 10x better but Wale did his thing. The future of hip hop-J Cole, Wale, Big Sean, Lupe, and even though I don’t be feeling have the songs he make Drake. G.O.O.D Music!


  12. Royal Swagness on November 2nd, 2011 5:04 am

    I heard it again to get a better feel & now I only like half the album the other half I’m not feelin. It’s still a decent album with good beat selection.


  13. FNLTape1 on November 2nd, 2011 6:50 am

    I disagree with 90% of these comments. I know we are all entitled to our opinion, but all of your opinions are stupid. I am a TRUE rap fan. When you have the true rappers of the game criticizing rap then you know theres a problem. Now we got guys like J.Cole, Kendrick, Lupe, Wale, Sean etc CHANGING the game and ya fail to see it? I honestly have no hope for the game any more if people cant see the talent behind Wale.


    no Reply:

    what an ignorant comment, that’s just the point. every true hiphop fan can see the talent behind Wale, that’s why his album is honestly dissapointing. everybody exspected way more out of this.
    My opinion–> he should have never signed with MMG, Rick Ross is slowly destroying his talent and replacing it with the MMG spirit, money bitches drugs and a lack of content or lyrics.
    same story with b.o.b & Lupe btw, Atlantic is commercializing them as well
    b.o.b: previous shit( generation lost, No genre)> adventures of Bobbie Ray
    Lupe: the cool>Lasers


    Sould food queen Reply:

    Totally agree. Wale is about evolution and a new definition to greatness for our generartion I mean look at the used to be’s Pac Biggie, theres none of that for our generation. Wale and J.cole is the closest to that not waka flacka or gucci. Im tired of these rappers not uplifting us and our women Wale does that and I love hime for that.


    Omg Lol Reply:

    @FNLTape1, Who says I’m not a true rap fan too? Fuck outta here with that bullshit and calling us stupid… Maybe get a 3rd or 4th listen through and you’ll see the album isn’t that great. Wale fell off signing with MMG..


  14. Santrise on November 2nd, 2011 4:51 pm

    Thanks for a solid unbiased review of Wale’s Sophomore effort, Ambition. It is appreciated.


  15. peanut on November 3rd, 2011 1:40 am

    album was okay…dont really like it that much, a lot of other stuff i would rather listen to. now its take care time OVOXO bitch


  16. Chi Simpson!!! on November 11th, 2011 12:35 am



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