Wale In My Ears


Wale‘s debut album, Attention Deficit (2009), has been popping up on my playlist sporadically since my good mate Dave recommended it. I relocated to Shanghai just over a month and have been helping local music company, Split Works put this together. More on that in another post.

I have to admit, I gave a handful of tracks from Attention Deficit a good listen earlier this year, and it didn’t grab me. It wasn’t until I started chaining myself to a desk for 8 hours everyday, with aural shackles on my head, that Wale really started to gel with me. At first — I discovered the album in reverse track order — it was the soul melodies and refreshingly humble rhymes of “Prescription”.

Next, “Diary“, with an orchestral sample from one of my favourite soundtracks — from French pop cult film Le fabuleux destin d’Amélie Poulain (2001) — by Yann Tiersen.

And finally (for now) “World Tour“, a track that harks back to the sentimentality of Kanye West’s Late Registration album, without the bravado that, somehow, exceeds even hip hop –a genre built around talking oneself up.

Wale definitely has the economies of scope and scale — I’ve been itching to drop those terms into a post — to make a successful tour of China. He’s hooked-in appearances from some big names like Mark Ronson (who signed him to Allido Records back in 2007), Pharrell and The Neptunes, and Lady Gaga.

Which reminds me… there are a few on-going challenges for tours of mainland China to contend with.