Saving grace: "Pretty Girls"
It's hard to remember now considering his current status, but after Wale's debut album, Attention Deficit, he was all but dead and buried in the rap game. Wale was widely thought of as a joke and "Chillin'" was the punch line. At the time, he was coming off three excellent mixtapes, highlighted by The Mixtape About Nothing. Where The Mixtape About Nothing was creative and awesome, Attention Deficit was relatively boring.
The fact that the most typical comments on the album are that "Chillin'" was corny and that Wale got renegaded by J. Cole on "Beautiful Bliss" show you how bleh most of the album was. While there are some sleeper songs ("World Tour and "Mirrors") the album seemed like the end for Wale. Thankfully, he's erased the disappointment associated with his debut by hooking up with Rick Ross. Still, when we interviewed him a few years back, we could tell the failure of that album still haunted Wale. —Max Goldberg