It was a couple years ago that Wale saw his unfortunate departure from Interscope Records, and since then he has turned his career around for the better. With two albums under his belt, Wale has been prepping the release of his newest album, The Gifted. Similar to Ambition, The Gifted takes many pages out of the regular Wale book while still showing depth, innovation, and development.
Although Wale’s entrance was commenced by one of his newer songs, LoveHate Thing, he quickly transitioned into one of the more glorious songs from Ambition, Legendary. Sporting Givenchy, some waxed demin, and a pair of Jordan 3’s, Wale was ready to shut down a packed venue in some premium garments that followed a black motif. Not even a few songs into the show, Wale invited a special guest onto the stage to greet the fans. This special guest happened to be Roc Nation Sports’ Kevin Durant–formerly known as Sniper Jones–who as timid and shy as always, walked out quietly to recognize the crowd before returning to his seat on the stage. In other sneaker news, Kevin Durant was wearing the new Nike KD VI; no surprise there. KD happened to be his first guest but his second guest was one of New York‘s very own, Chinx Drugz who performed I’m A Coke Boy.
There was a strong possibility that Wale had five blunts in rotation and some champagne before his performance as he was noticeably geeked to another level. Nonetheless, the DMV representer still kept his composure when necessary despite some drunken outbursts that amused the crowd. His antics were placed on full display when broke out his signature dance for Slight Work.
Throughout the concert, Wale commanded the crowd’s attention while the wonderful playing of the live band and the bass of the venue combined for a very potent combo. Wale took the time out to honor and put the spotlight on the young lady who was awarded a $25,000 scholarship by Wale himself. This showed just how much Wale believed in the giving back to the community. It was after this that we saw guest appearances from Styles P, Jadakiss, and Sheek Louch, who then went on to run through a couple classic cuts. Wale then proceeded to spit his verse from Ambition’s title track which showed us what his motif still was; not fame but his never-ending guest for excellence.
Shortly after acknowledging the leak of his album, the DJ dropped Rotation which he let marinate to ensure that the feeling of the song was truly grasped by the crowd. Staying with cuts from The Gifted, Wale decided to perform one of the more substantial tracks, Bricks. It was during the song that we were greeted by the iced-out Yo Gotti. After assisting on Bricks, Yo Gotti then shut the venue down with Got Dat Sack which immediately got me turnt up. During these back to back tracks, Wale truly flexed his total delivery arsenal which seemed to be effortless even though he was under the influence.
Chillin‘, 90210, and Nike Boots were then played to test the Olubowale faithfuls who showed that they’ve been rocking with Wale from the beginning of his journey. After this, we saw the attention swing to the ladies as Wale offered up Lotus Flower Bomb which was followed by Bad. If Wale didn’t already have all the females’ in the palm of his hand with Lotus Flower Bomb, it was surely achieved when the ever-so familiar bed squeaks of Bad invaded the ears of everyone in the venue. It seemed as if these two songs gave the female community all the empowerment they needed to sing the heartfelt lyrics of his latest hit.
Before you knew it, we were treated to another celebrity but this time it happened to be DJ Khaled. All I Do Is Win injected a victorious emotion into the crowd though it was short-lived.
Back to the show though as Clappers had all unauthorized girls twerking as Wale continued to showcase his footwork. I was sadly disappointed that Juicy J nor Nicki Minaj came out to surprise the onlooking crowd with a trippy or twerk appearance respectively. To end the night, No Hands showed that no matter how old it may be, the song is still embraced by a reception similar to one of when the song was in its prime.
Final Verdict: As known from before, Wale takes tremendous pride in his music as he aims to provide soulful yet thought-provoking and uplifting music for his fans and believers. The concert was a beautiful beginning to a day that shall play host to the release of his third studio album. The Gifted looks to give Mr. Folarin more justification to his recent “new legends” title. With Rozay in the “country of Africa“–oh yes, Rozay did actually say this–and Meek Mill probably napping on a G5 somewhere, Wale held the MMG flag high and valiantly as he grabbed another victory in NYC. Concert Grade: B