Wale is an interesting case study in hip-hop. He never has had a project that has been a crazy huge success. His most popular feature was on “No Hands” with Waka Flocka but that is pretty much it. He consistently releases music that is good but never majorly popular and yet still remains relevant. This latest EP from the D.C. rapper is another example of this. Solid bars and beats but no song on here with that feeling that it will blow up. I am always surprised by the talent Wale brings to his albums and how late I always am to hear them. Luckily, I have pounced on Free Lunch for this week’s #NewMusicMonday (on a Tuesday night).
Free Lunch has a lot of examples of Wale’s lyricism. He is solid in this aspect, pulling a lot of quick rhymes together with funky flows. At the end of “3 Days 3 Hours” he even mixes in a little spoken word.
“Sugar, we went from three days and three hours ’til we two days
and three hours to, “girl he think he Darius Lovehall, he walkin’
down the street writin’ poetry to make the between yo’ knees feel
like you need balance””
He uses this version of hip-hop flows called “go-go”, a style that originated out of Washington D.C. that offshoots from disco. It makes many of his verses feel almost raw and dependent around the percussion. It is most prominent on the track “My Boy (Freestyle),” which features J. Cole. It isn’t the first time the two have collaborated, the first being on Wale’s The Album About Nothing. He’s political, he is lyrical, he is punchy yet smooth…Wale is good. End of story.
This is another aspect of the EP that feels fantastic. He uses brass and hi-hats throughout and even a clave on “Right Here.” There isn’t a song on the project that doesn’t have a solid beat. The opening track features some seriously exciting brass instrumentals, the kind that just makes you nod your head and get excited for what Wale will be bringing to the table. While J. Cole brings the excitement and fire again on the production of “My Boy (Freestyle),” much of the rest of the album is at a more relaxed pace, with heavy percussion but smoother and more chilled-out instrumentals and samples.
The EP is an EP. If you’ve been reading Colossus for a while, you know my opinion on EP’s…not a huge fan. The mixing is good and the transitions are good but since its so short, there isn’t a ton to really add here.
Look, if you can’t find time to listen to five tracks, why are you even reading this. If I was to pick one song though, it would have to be either “My Boy (Freestyle)” or “Dummies.”
I like Wale. I really do. However, he is such an interesting member of the hip-hop community. He isn’t this crazy popular rapper or anything even though he has the talent to potentially be one. This EP isn’t likely to change that but I can’t ignore some fun tracks when I hear them. Free Lunch is a…
I am really curious to see what you think so give it a listen and roast my opinion in the comments.