Wale’s debut effort, Attention Deficit, proved that it takes more than a legit buzz to sell records these days. After learning from his rookie mistakes and teaming up with Rick Ross’s Maybach Music Group, Wale is back with his sophomore effort, Ambition.

The album begins with the go-go driven “Don’t Hold Your Applause.” The live instrumentation sets the stage for Wale who stays true to his D.C. music roots. The up-tempo vibes continue on “Double M Genius” and “Miami Nights.”

On “Legendary,” Wale adopts a menacing flow over hard-core production.

“Poetry keeping honest, these readings Stevie can draw up, don’t see this deeper than music, don’t hear it but feel the author. I don’t hear no talking, we just hear’em barking, and you know you run it when they pay you good for walk-ins. Failure is not an option, success is just a process. Say ‘yes’ one time they use you, say ‘no’ one time they’re plotting,” he raps.

But Wale also supplies plenty of songs for his large female fan base. He’s mastered the art of creating songs about women without it sounding forced for radio play.

On “Lotus Flower Bomb,” Wale tries to convince a woman he just met to spend the night with him while mentioning the possibility of a long-term relationship; he speaks on the difficulties of being in a relationship with an insecure woman on “Sabotage”; and he describes a night on the town with the perfect woman on “White Linen.” He provides inspiration to all black women on “Illest Bitch Alive,” but some may overlook the message and condemn the song due to his use of the word bitch.

Rick Ross and Meek Mill assist on “Ambition”; Kid Cudi provides a catchy hook on “Focused”; and Big Sean shows up on the throw away track “Slight Work.”

The most engaging song is an ode to his hometown, “DC or Nothing,” and “Bait” is a head nodding track that will keep the clubs hot during the winter.

Wale takes advantage of his second chance at stardom with Ambition. It’s a solid effort that should gain him more fans and the respect he deserved the first time around. –amir shaw

Check out several songs from Wale’s Ambition album.

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