8. Wale, The Gifted
Release Date: 6/25/2013
Label: Maybach Music Group/Atlantic
Producers: Kelson Camp, Tone P, Stokely, Sam Dew, Travis Scott
Guests: Sam Dew, Meek Mill, CeeLo Green, Yo Gotti, Lyfe Jennings, Nicki Minaj, Juicy J, Rihanna, Ne-Yo, Rick Ross, Wiz Khalifa, 2 Chainz, Jerry Seinfeld, Tiara Thomas
Singles: "Bad" f/ Tiara Thomas, "Bad (Remix)" f/ Rihanna, "LoveHate Thing" "Rotation" f/ Wiz Khalifa and 2 Chainz
There's a fine line between the definitions of "ambitious" and "gifted" in Merriam Webster's dictionary, and Wale is certainly walking it with a defiant swagger. As he previously told MTV of his upcoming album, "Let's let the music talk, because I ain't about to come here and tell y'all exactly how I feel no more." Cue the genesis of The Gifted, which stands to be Wale's most successful release to date.
The album boasts features from MMG cohorts Rick Ross and Meek Mill, Nicki Minaj, and Rihanna, but Wale will unquestionably be the star of his own show here. The D.C. rapper has already hit introspective gold with the soulful flare of "LoveHate Thing," and similarly takes flight as he jet sets with the winner's circle of Wiz Khalifa and 2 Chainz on "Rotation." Come June 25, I Am Gifted will likely be thrown into the rap album discussion still marinating after June 18. Still not convinced? He's got Jerry Seinfeld on his album. We rest our case. —Edwin Ortiz