REVIEW: #Ambition Doesn’t Meet The Hype


“I Am Just An Artist
. I Am Just A Man. 
May Not Change The World. 
But Let Me Inspire Someone Who Can.”

DC rap artist Wale used the above statement in a promotional track for his long awaited sophomore album, Ambition, set to hit itunes and music stores on Tuesday. An early leak of the album has surfaced online. If the goal of the compilation was to inspire, it fell sharply flat.

In order to accurately critique Ambition, one has to observe what characteristics make a Hip-Hop album great.

The main component is a general direction. A great album should tell a story or have a central theme. Every track should serve as a layer that when played linearly reveals a conclusion or focus. It’s the same technique employed on highly acclaimed albums from Jay-Z, Kanye West, Notorious B.I.G, Tupac Shakur, Nas, and Lupe Fiasco.

Yes, these are lofty names to aspire to. But if Wale is “just trying to be legendary” (track 9), he needs to up his game. “Ambition” has no direction. The entire concept is cloudy and unclear at best. It’s a compilation of average produced tracks. When played in order the songs jumble into a clump of noise that all sounds the same.

A few tracks stand out. “DC or Nothing” has a well produced hook. The accompanying beat is above average, but still meshes with the others. “Slight Work” is a great dance track. Big Sean brings a much needed spark to the compilation. “Lotus Flower Bomb” with Miguel, “Sabotage” with Lloyd, and “White Linen” with Ne-Yo will attract the female audience.

A glaring error with Ambition is the lyrics. They are not up to par with Wale’s past work from his mixtapes, making for what appears to be an uninspired effort. Since joining Maybach Music, the quality of Wale’s work has deteriorated. His music now wanders into the mainstream.  For a man who claims to be “a fresh breathe of air” to the struggling Hip-Hop genre, Wale is doing nothing “fresh”. “Ambition” might as well be a Rick Ross compilation. Tracks like “No Days Off” and “Legendary” show Wale’s ego has grown, but his depth has died. And for the genre of Hip-Hop, that is a great tragedy.

FINAL VERDICT: A swing and a miss from a rap artist with so much talent and potential. Ambition is average at best. Don’t buy. C

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