Wale The Eleven One Eleven Theory

Wale The Eleven One Eleven Theory
It's hard to live up to your hype. DC rapper Wale was hotly tipped to blow after a series of excellent mixtapes got him signed to Roc Nation in 2009; his debut, Attention Deficit, flopped and he re-emerged as a member of Rick Ross's MMG super-group. His latest mixtape, The Eleven One Eleven Theory, showcases Wale's technical skill nicely, and he still dazzles, hopping from free-associative syllable to syllable. Wale now seems most comfortable as a sneering player, a role he was happy to play in Rick Ross's MMG, but one that does a disservice to his versatility. He's clumsy and condescending rapping about girls on "That Way" and "Mother Nature," and he sounds strained when bragging on "Lace Frontin" or kicking double-time on the electro-go-go of "Bait." Wale's rapping on Eleven One never approaches the insight of "The Kramer" or his dexterity on "W.A.L.E.D.A.N.C.E." He reaches rare moments of comfort kicking breathless punch lines on "Drums and Shit" and waxing poetic with NAACP metaphors on "Varsity Blues." The Eleven One Eleven Theorydoesn't showcase Wale's talent well, but hopefully he'll come off better on the upcoming album. (Maybach)