Why Wale’s Attention Deficit Is Monumental For DC
As a DC metropolitan area representative, I feel almost obliged to let the world know that history is about to be made today.
The ambassador of rap from the capitol, Wale, releases his debut album Attention Deficit today. With features from all types of artists – Chrisette Michelle and Melanie Fiona to Gucci Mane and Pharrell and more – this album is a cleverly crafted work of art.
What’s the big deal, you ask? Well, unlike hip-hop havens such as New York City, LA, Atlanta, or Houston, DC hasn’t ever successfully launched a nationally recognized rapper. Ever.
In the city where politics live, hip-hop came second to go-go, a subcategory of funk unique to DC that was created in the ’70s and pioneered by singer-guitarist Chuck Brown. You’ve probably heard the percussion-heavy genre’s influence on more mainstream music and not even realized it. Remember Amerie‘s “1 Thing” or Beyonce‘s “Crazy In Love”? They both borrowed heavily from go-go without properly crediting the sound that made the songs the hits they are.
Wale infuses the local sound into a bunch of his tracks too; check this Rik Cordero produced video for Back to the Feature‘s “Sweatin’ Out Weaves”, featuring Uncalled 4 Band (or UCB), the go-go band that’s been touring with Wale as of recent.
See what I mean? That’s that go-go sound that runs the city, and to see Wale embrace it and bring it to the masses is quite an achievement. What’s also impressive is how he’s stepped out of go-go’s shadow and has attracted the most attention and buzz from any local artist since DJ Kool in the ’90s.
His success in the industry is twofold; not only does he put on for the city musically, but he also opens the doors to the flourishing “scene” here in the DMV (the DC, Maryland, and Virginia area), showcasing the creative talent that the city has to offer. Before the eyes were on the city, artisans of all different disciplines were overlooked.
Now, it’s hard to find somebody who hasn’t been influenced by somebody or something from the region. Love him or hate him, he’s been pivotal in fostering a local community of cool kids that appreciate the subculture of hip-hop, and that’s undeniable.
I’ve seen him come a long way, from those Paint A Picture days all the way up to the highly-anticipated Back to the Feature joint. Three years and five mixtapes later, he’s got a major label deal and a feature-heavy album. Incredible.
Go support great music and grab a copy of Attention Deficit. I bought five; one for every member of my family including me, and one to get autographed at tomorrow’s meet and greet down in DC. Yep, I’m goin’ HAM. Ha. I’ll reveal more details on that when I can. If you prefer a digital version, purchase the album on iTunes here. There’s special tracks on this version that the hard copy doesn’t have, too.
Let me know what you think about the album. Favorite track? Most impressive verse? Did it disappoint? Too much hype? Whatever you’ve got, throw it in the comment section. Don’t be bashful, either.