Wale, 'Ambition' (Maybach Music/Warner Bros.)

6
Ambition
Critical Mass
Release Date: November 1, 2011
Label: Maybach Music/Warner Bros.

by Nick Murray

"We black niggas with ambition," Wale raps on album opener "Hold Your Applause," outlining his new record's central but barely interrogated theme. Compared to 2009's troubled Attention Deficit, there's more sonic consistency (save for Diplo dud "Slight Work"), and despite burly benefactor Rick Ross, the former backpack hero exposes his inner nice guy on the working-women ode "Illest Bitch" and Lex Luger slow jam (yes, really) "That Way." Finally, on "Miami Nights," riding a lush Mark Henry beat, Wale again celebrates his ambition, realized at last, if only for a moment.

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