2017 has been an incredible year for hip-hop and it’s not even summer yet. The future of the music and the culture is looking bright and there should be no real complaints. Adding to the year is Wale with his 5th studio album, Shine. By your 5th album, the people have already decided if they love or hate you. In this era, that love or hate can have very little to do with music and Wale is a prime example of that. So exactly how bright is Wale’s Shine? Let’s talk about it.
“Smile” with Phil Ade & Zyla Moon is the best song on Shine. The energy, vibe and content are A-1. It’s the best version of Wale you’re going to get on this project. Another really good song on this album is “Heaven on Earth” with Chris Brown. “Fashion Week” with G-Eazy is solid. It’s going to get some burn on the gram when ladies feel like thirst trapping.
“CC White” would be my absolutely favorite track on the album. That is if the last 48 seconds of the song was what he rapped to. That is upsetting. Wale needs to do the song over to an extended version of the switch up.
“PYT” is what it is. End of day. A lot of Michael Jackson songs should never be touched. This may be one of those. It’s not terrible, but I still don’t love it. Wale may take another unfortunate L as he dropped what is the third “DNA” song of 2017. Future Hive and Kendrick Stans are about to go in. The 3 shouldn’t be compared but they will be.
Travis Scott makes an appearance and stays consistent with his campaign of getting women under the influence for fun on “Fish N Grits”. It’s a definite highlight on the album. Wale even sneaks a few bars in about a conversation on having a baby on the way.
It would be wrong for me to penalize Wale for not switching up the flow much on this album. Many new artist get praise for dropping the same style of song 3-4 times a year. I will say I wish Wale showed more versatility front to back because I know he’s capable of it. The most important thing to take from these songs is Wale is enjoying fatherhood and loves love. That message may not come across so clear cause the music doesn’t consistently move you.
Bar for bar, Wale is truly one of the absolute best emcees we have today. Possibly even better than the emcee you have at number 1. However, his discography is a hit or miss. I think this one is a miss. This is coming from a person who thought The Gifted was better than Born Sinner and over time Yeezus. The Album About Nothing was also dope. I don’t know what happened on Shine. I feel it’s not as entertaining as it could be and Wale seems to be happier than ever with life in general. Give it a listen and tell me if I’m tripping. Based off what we’ve heard from his peers. I can’t give this album praise. Sorry.