Wale Makes His Mainstream Move, and It’s a Step in the Wrong Direction

By
Photo: Getty Images

It seems like hip-hop’s class of ’09 — that obsessed-over (by blogs) batch of fresh-faced, mix-tape-hawking would-be rap saviors — have all decided to move to the main stage: Charles Hamilton’s releasing music videos, Asher Roth’s on MTV, Kid Cudi’s basically Kanye's new best friend. Now it’s Wale’s turn: After announcing that his debut Interscope album, Attention Deficit, is coming this summer, the D.C. emcee released first single “Chillin.” And, well, it’s a bit of a letdown. We could maybe excuse the radio-pandering inclusion of Lady Gaga (sounding decidedly like a Canal Street M.I.A.) or the completely unnecessary (never, ever necessary) “Na Na Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye” sample if Wale had just come a bit harder (“Hos calling me Mr. Never-wear-the-same-thing?”). Okay, “I got a buzz like that n**** Chris Mullin” is awesome, but it’d take referencing all of Run-TMC to save this one.