Music review: The Gifted

July 27, 2013 

Wale's "The Gifted."

  • Rap Wale The Gifted

Rapper in top form

“They gon’ love you a little different when you at the top,” Wale prudently asserts on “LoveHate Thing.”

The lyric plays cleverly within his third album, “The Gifted,” as well as wisely within real life. Perhaps it’s Wale’s “trill” approach to his rhymes that establishes him as one of the present day’s most gifted rappers. Flowing with utmost agility and moxie, Wale conveys an artistic, intellectual mindset that is equally accessible. “The Gifted” is incredibly consistent and exemplarily executed like previous albums, never compromising quality.

Wale works best with lush, soulful production work. A consistent trend throughout the album, opener “The Curse of the Gifted” matches Wale with his ideal backdrop. Eliminating the “suckers” filled with hate and envy, Wale keeps “that circle small and never let no squares in there.” On the catchy, summative hook, Wale accepts the truism that “haters gonna hate,” but asserts they will respect his “hustle.” “LoveHate Thing” proceeds in similar vein.

All in all, Wale truly is “gifted.” Three albums in, Wale continues to impress with prodigious rhymes and the ability to assemble an album that is consistent, intellectually stimulating and enjoyable. He even makes a booty anthem like “Clapper” sound more refined than it should be, regardless of whether his partners in crime raunch it up. With no big-time faux pas to be found, “The Gifted” is an extraordinary gift to any hip-hop collection.

Brent Faulkner – Popmatters.com

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