Arts Desk

DMV Beats: Wale’s Complex Complex

wale-giftedWale Addresses Complex Incident in New Song, "Walk N’ Live"

A week removed from losing it with a Complex magazine editor and threatening the entire staff, Wale addressed the matter, first in an interview with Hot 97 and then with "Walk N' Live." The DJ Relly Rell-produced cut finds Wale getting to the root of his ire: that The Gifted was omitted from Complex's top 50 albums of the year list due to some vendetta the magazine has against him. Hoarse voice and all, Wale assaults the beat, reminding everyone that his abilities on the mic are why people should pay attention to him, not his antics off it: "I got a temper now cry me a river into an ocean/I do the most to rap for the culture/How you confuse a nigga passion with actin' like ho'shit?/Because I'm black with some hunger with no passive emotion?" When calm, he's extremely insightful.

Here are three realities about this situation: First, The Gifted deserved a spot on Complex's list. Second, there were plenty of other year-end lists that the album didn't make. Third, the year is almost over and people will remember yet another "Wale moment" before they remember The Gifted topped the Billboard 200. That's the most unfortunate reality. While he's justified in believing his album belonged on Complex's list, threatening to start "knocking niggas out" isn't going to endear him to a publication he's already convinced has something against him. Let him tell it, he doesn't care. If that were true, I wouldn't be writing this.

At least he was big enough to apologize to Juicy J (who appeared on his album and whose album, Stay Trippy, he was featured on) for inadvertently throwing him under the bus during his tirade. With 2014 less than two weeks away, let's hope for more good music (The Album About Nothing is still happening, right?) and fewer "Wale moments." —Julian Kimble

Shy Glizzy's 2014 Teaser

This past Monday afternoon, Shy Glizzy liberated a brand-new song via his personal Twitter account. The track—appropriately titled “Awwsome,” spelled with a superfluous “w” to boot—is rumored to be the first glimpse of his forthcoming mixtape,Young Jefe, tentatively scheduled for release on February 3, 2013. It's more outward and animated than we’ve come to expect from Glizz; his last full-length release, Law 2, was generally laissez-faire, at least in regard to flow and inflection. Thanks to shrewdly infectious assertions like “[I’m] out here like a possum” and “my O.G.’s still got beepers,” the track suggests a promising 2014 for 37th Street’s own. —Harold Stallworth

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