I am a true Wale fan. A Mixtape About Nothing is in my top 5 (actually tied at first) mixtapes of all time and I thought that Attention Deficit was the “All Eyes On Me” of this generation (I know many of you will disagree, just meet me in the comment section). For the site, I wrote a piece on Ambition and have been going back and forth with hip hop fans on his Maybach Music move. I will agree that it was more emotional than his previous projects, but it was a good release. Therefore, when I heard that Wale was giving us a early Christmas present with his new mixtape, Folarin, and was asked to review it…. I anticipated the gift.
This mixtape shows growth within Wale lyrically and emotionally. He starts off the mixtape by showing that he’s shifting his role (ironically, I considered him the Lebron James of hip hop within my article) and is “Not no LeBron, but I’m cool with being Jamal Cross/somebody falling, don’t keep reaching, let me just ball.” Also, the irony within the track is that it’s named “Change Up,” but he really shows us how he really hasn’t changed, only the stage/platform that he’s on now. Wale did a great job with the features. Each feature balanced the tracks. I actually think that I heard 2 Chainz’s best verse, and Scareface was legendary on “Limitless.” Even Trinidad James surprised me and gave a new, revised “No Hands” collab feel on “Flat Out.”
Overall, this is on the heels of being the best project Wale has dropped. For the mixtape not to have Wale’s signature Go Go sound, The production was on point for him. This also shows his maturity and versatility with his production picks. The Street Fighter sample in “Chun Li” was creative. You can clearly see that Wale brings some of the best bars and shows why he is called “Wordplay”le.” Let me also go on record and say Wale’s first verse from “Bad” describes 95 percent of women in the world.
I could let this project ride out from the beginning to end. If you’re not a Wale fan, then this mixtape will make you one. If you’re one of the Wale fans that say he isn’t the same anymore, this is the mixtape to get you back on the band wagon. For those who don’t know, Folarin means “to walk in wealth/glory.” Looks like Wale is living up to his name with this mixtape.