Producer: Lex Luger
Album: Self Made Vol. 1/ Ambition
Label: MMG/Warner Bros.
Early Wale tracks like "Rising Up," "Jay Joint," and "W.A.L.E.D.A.N.C.E." established Wale as a funky, thoughtful, frequently anxious rapper who nonetheless dabbled in dance and wanton flirtation. If his post-Warner transition to MMG surely promised anything, it was via claim to rap's most powerful, extravagant soundscape of millionaire playboy beats. MMG's Bad Boy Redux aesthetic and production styling meant Wale could spit that game over the slickest beats money could buy in 2011. "That Way" is among both Wale (obviously) and Lex Luger's best, and we thank god for the seraph named Jeremih. —Justin Charity