After the positive critical reception of his albums Attention Deficit and Ambition, Wale earned a special respect from hip hop culture that can never be stripped away from him. Recently, Wale has struggled with many lackluster releases, including Summer on Sunset and Shine. Last year, Wale released Wow… That’s Crazy, which I considered to be a step in the right direction for the once prominent mc. With all that being said, his newest EP, The Imperfect Storm, may just be his most focused effort to date.
The intro track, “MOVIN’ DIFFERENT”, sets the tone for the project as Wale’s lyrics express his thoughts on America post the unjust death of George Floyd. The rest of the songs continue to push similar themes forward as Wale unravels his true feelings about worldly principles such as common decency and human rights. “JUNE 5th / QueenZnGodZ” is a definite standout as it reflects on the night the riots for Floyd broke out with sound imagery and storytelling. Overall, Wale fills the EP to the brim with relevant messages and stories. Almost everything he stated can be applied in the tedious process of unifying all Americans as brothers and sisters, which was something much needed from an artist at these times.
Sonically the album is diverse and intuitive. “MOVIN’ DIFFERENT” and “EMPTY WISHING WELL” have a laid back relaxing feel. At the same time, the beat “JUNE 5th / QueenZnGodZ” puts a heavier emotional tole on the listener with its everchanging slower paced beat mainly focused around a soft playing electric piano. An interesting instrumental choice is seen on song four “BLUE YELLOW GREEN PINK WHITE”, which samples the pop classic “Cha Cha Slide” by Dj Casper. As a whole, I don’t have any major gripes with the production as all the instrumentals utilized cater to Wale’s vibe and strengthen the message he is trying to get across.
In summary, The Imperfect Storm is one of the best politically charged projects I’ve heard in a while. While only being six songs long, Wale still creates an immersive experience that leaves you satisfied. Everything echoed from his mouth is touching and extremely significant to the world we live in right now. While a few artists such as Lil Baby and J Cole were able to create a meaningful song out of this fire were living through, Wale was able to create an entire project about everything.