“The dream is real. Lets live in it.” – “The Forward”
Wale released his latest mixtape “Folarin” Dec. 24 last year, and it was better than any Christmas present I received. Being a die hard Wale fan, I anticipated the release of a new mixtape way before he announced the release of one via Facebook/Twitter/Instagram.
Listening to it for the first time I got lost in the variety of sounds and featured artist. A few of the voices familiar that I’d heard in past works such as Melanie Fiona (“Beautiful Bliss”/ Attention Deficit) and Tiara Thomas (“The Cloud”/ More About Nothing) and some big names sure to grab attention such as 2 Chainz and French Montana.
The first track on the tape (after the forward) is “Change Up”, which was more of an address to me. Addressing any beliefs that he may have changed due to his success and signing to MMG (Maybach Music Group). He speaks to this saying “About a dollar so they hollering I changed / same lyrics, just the stage different”. Telling his audience that yeah he’s making more money now but its the same music on a different platform.
My personal favorite on the tape is has a sample from the talented Tiara Thomas. A sultry beautiful rhythm and blues account for the idea that monogamy may not be for everyone. Her voice slow and Speaking to the women with commitment issues, the reverse stereotype that men aren’t the only players, and we all want what we can’t have. “Bad girls ain’t no good, and the good girls ain’t no fun And the hood girls want a smart n****, college girls all want a thug”. Produced by Tiara herself it delves past the surface of love and into the pages of lust.
“The Show” ft Rick Ross
Another powerful track included would be “The Show” where Wale collaborated with his own mentor Rick Ross (founder of MMG) to tell the tale of where you stand after you’ve made it. He’s finally reached the point where he’s no longer rapping to for money, but to build his legacy.
“When your revenue’s sufficient you just work for respect.” Also touching on the variety he’s brought to the rap game. The creativity, originality, and also poetry that he had ingrained in his music is lost in the mainstream and unappreciated. The media doesn’t recognize that. Bearing his soul in his music but it’s lost in translation. The smooth simple beat, and mellow chorus by Aaron Wess allows you to listen to the words and not distract you from the message.
“I put my soul in the culture, but what is it giving me back?”
I appreciate the variety of different sounds in the mixtape there’s a few hype songs for when I’m excited or when I’m getting ready to work out. I appreciate those songs but I prefer the more poetic in depth songs Wale produces. The songs that make me think and interpret. Those are the most powerful songs. The ones that make you feel something. I am impressed with Folarin, but in my eyes or ears it hasn’t surpassed More About Nothing (his 2010 mixtape). I anticipate the upcoming album that will be released this February, because he’ll be returning to his original style that blew him up in the first place.