Music Review: Self Promotion by Wale

In today’s music industry, being independent is the new popular thing many new artists say in order to please their core fan base. However, for more veteran artists it is more of a liberating thing to allow them to fully be in more control of their career and for one artist, Wale finally being independent has done just that. Maybach Music Group’s poetic genius and Ever Blue Moon head honcho first announced he was no longer signed to major label Atlantic Records back in March when he dropped the surprise EP “It’s Complicated”. For fans of the DC Rapper like myself, we were excited for new music from Wale so a few days ago on May 8th; we were blessed again with more music in the form of his 2nd EP in two months, “Self Promotion”. Taking a more Black Empowerment themed approach this time around, the 4 Song EP showcases how talented, versatile and lyrically inclined he has always been.

 

The first track “Negotiations” finds Wale speaking on his career with lyrics like

 

“Yeah, mind racin', negotiatin' my situation

I burned bridges I can't repair so been fly lately

I've been peddlin' rhymes so much my calves hurt

Fly pelican fly, Tony Montana work

Yeah I'm comfortable, tell my other label I love 'em”

 

As a newly independent artist, Wale’s mind is racing because now fully has control of his career and has to consider either signing to another major or staying independent. He could wait to see what Rick Ross does with MMG after their deal with Atlantic ends, which both Ross and Wale have hinted at in interviews ends soon or he can stay independent and go with a label like EMPIRE, which actually is credited for putting out the EP. Wale also speaks about burning bridges that cannot be repaired because it is a rumor or known fact depending on whom you ask around the industry that Wale has a bad attitude. In the next line though, he speaks about Ghostwriting for other artists so much that he is comfortable just like Tony Montana in the “Scarface” scene of him relaxing in his Jacuzzi watching Pelicans fly around on his television.  

 

The track continues with Wale speaking more on how he has viewed in the industry and what these labels might have wanted him to conform to being while still letting us know he will be fine as long as he continues to be true and honest with himself.

 

The next track “Salary Kaep”, despite being just one verse is probably my favorite track on the project. Wale uses the track to focus on the various social injustice issues in America while using one of Quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s speeches and predicament to empower people of color.

 

The next track “Body Body Body Freestyle”, shows Wale catering female fan abase by telling his lady how much he wants that “Body, body, body, body (yeah)/I'ma need that right on me (ha)”He also speaks about his record “My PYT” in the chorus with lines like:

Do it for my PYT

I wanna love you, pretty young thing

And that single still was platinum

'Cause academically they fuck with me

That's why I'm struggle-free, yeah

 

He ends the track in the third verse speaking on his flaws and issues which may be hindering him from finding love while hinting at his situation in the music industry when he says “I ain't findin' no wife, and that's probably 'cause of myself/Heaven knows mental health is a detriment to my wealth, ni**a”. This ability to be openly honest in his music continues to be why I along with many others continue to be a fan of his.

 

The closeout track, “Cassius (Excellency)” my other favorite track on the project finds Word Play Le lyrically flexing and getting things off his chest while using sound from the Great Muhammad Ali to help further his point. The first verse is the highlight when he says:

Dr. Sebi was really curing what people gave us

I'm a beacon of what you become if you got passion

I feel like Ali, but feel like I be with all the cash is

Never could reach the masses

Label said I'm too deep and I told them people that's frownin'

Blacks executed for movin' around

And maybe I think too deep, but I think it be for this brown skin

Pro-black isn't anti-white

                                               But how we act like we don't see no Tiki Torches at night? (Ya dig)

                                              Pro-black isn't anti-white, but if a Nazi try me, catch these Ali hands on sight

 

Later in the song he alludes to his broken relationship with his daughters mother while also being in a mended relationship with fellow labelmate Meek Mill, who hes openly had differences with and now on collect calls with & how he’s going to continue to rep for and hold down.

 

Overall, Wale is letting his fans and the industry know now that he’s independent he can freely do what he wants now and from the looks of it won’t be slowing down anytime soon…Blue Mooooonnnnnzzzzzz Yea!!!

 

 

 

 

 

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