Written By: JaJa Nelson
For years we have listened to controversial punchlines from Wale, but is this time different with his new album, Wow… That’s Crazy? Well, an excellent way to start is “Sue Me.” Here we have another display in music from an artist who advocates for the people so poetically, “Sue me, I’m rootin’ for everybody that’s black.” A phrase that Issa Rae coined at the Emmy’s in 2017 was magically revamped over a powerful sample from “I’m Blessed” by Mississippi Children’s Choir.
The Features (although he does just fine on his own)
Wale teams up with so many fitting people on this album to deliver their vocals on his masterpieces. We get a glimpse of Afrobeats with a fellow Nigerian, Mannywellz, on “Love and Loyalty,” which exhibits Wale’s wordplay with analogies and metaphors. Also, early in the album, we can hear rustic vibes from 6lack, melodic harmonies from Ari Lennox, Jeremih, and Jacquees. Then we get that taste from Bryson Tiller’s voice and pen that we have been missing, and a catchy wordplay tango with Lil Durk. You hear Meek Mill and Rick Ross (of course) on “Routine,” however, what I was most excited about was that soulful voice of Kelly Price on “Set You Free.”
“Set You Free,” “BGM,” and “50 In Da Safe”
All produced by Norva “VA” Denton, they are relatable anthems that have entered my daily listening. “Set You Free” is unique because Wale opens up about balancing self-love and giving love in a relationship. I feel many of us struggle with this, but we rarely hear men talk about that type of vulnerability. He touches base on not being completely happy with himself and withdrawing emotionally as a partner. Meanwhile, you have Kelly Price giving us a chorus reminding us that “if you believe, love sets you free.”
“BGM” ( Black Girl Magic) is another dope ode to black women where Wale highlights our greatness and our struggles in society. He highlights being underpaid in the corporate workforce while being in the same position as a white counterpart, God being a black woman, and even goes back to quoting lyrics from his song “Black Is Gold,” which is another ode to the black woman. With its upbeat tempo, it is for sure a song to motivate any woman on those rough Mondays when we don’t feel like we can.
Lastly, “50 In Da Safe”, is what I call a “me against the world” song, because he touches on having to be social to maintain stability, but not really being fond of it due to the cruel nature of the world. He mentions the times he has been mocked by the media, betrayed by people close to him, and even seeing a therapist.
The Final Result
Wale closes out with an infamous strip club bop, featuring Megan Thee Stallion, “Poledancer,” and I am not gonna lie, it truly is a bop. With slow beat drops, you definitely have to make sure your knees are ready before you drop with it. Megan Thee Stallion flows over the beat effortlessly. Overall, there is truly something for everyone on this album. Personally, I think we do not appreciate Wale enough. This was indeed a beautiful album, through and through. From production to the lyrical content, it was more than enough.