Wale’s “Ambition” has been on retail shelves for about 62 hours and the online chatter is still going strong. In Tuesday’s paper, I compared the Washington rap star to my beloved Washington Wizards — a team I still have faith in despite its losing ways. In a hivemind coinky-dink, the Post’s Michael Lee interviewed Wale about those very same Washington Wizards in Tuesday’s Sports section. Read that story and a bonus Q&A with Wale right here.
What is the rest of the internet saying about Wale’s latest?
The Associated Press liked it, claiming that the rapper’s “hard work has paid off creatively.” The BBC didn’t, describing some of the tunes as “downright baffling.” XXL thought Wale seemed “freer, both musically and mentally.” And that guy who blogs in the voice of Ghostface Killah said that listening to Wale’s new single “Lotus Flower Bomb” felt “like havin a waterfall of ovaries comin thru all the windows n doors in ya crib when you listen to it son.”
But the Washington City Paper delivered the harshest critique we’ve seen, with a possibly-unprecedented-cover-story-album-review-take-down titled “#WaleFlail.” The review starts off by making the same exact point that the City Paper criticized me for making in a 2009 article about Wale’s influence on the D.C. rap scene, and then launches into a 3,000-plus word evisceration of Wale’s career trajectory, his Twitter persona, even his music.
For a completely opposite take, head over to the Couch Sessions, where, “Wale’s ambition was not to be your superstar, but the world’s superstar.”
That’s a silver-lining that I’m still squinting to see.