Wale "Chicago Falcon" (Remix)

Wale 'Chicago Falcon' (Remix)
DC’s Wale (pronounced wah-lay) is getting mad props from all sorts of different outlets: from expected candidates like XXL and URB (the cover no less) to Entertainment Weekly - who dubbed him the next Lupe Fiasco – to iTunes, which made his "Nike Boots” single its free download of the week last November.

It’s hard not to buy into the hype, but even harder once you hear what this talented MC brings to the game, with a masterfully rhythmic and super-clean flow, playful yet intelligent lyrics and a gift for the hook. Interscope likes Wale, and just snagged him through super producer Mark Ronson’s Allido imprint, ending what’s been called "an intense six-month bidding war.”

There is any number of tracks to champion: the slow socially conscious daze of "Nike Boots,” where he looks to unify crews through his footwear; the free-flowing funk steppin’ of the ultra smooth "Good Girls”; "W.A.L.E.D.A.N.C.E.” is the most obvious, using Justice’s infectious "D.A.N.C.E.” to drop rhymes about Zack and Screech from Saved By the Bell and poking fun at the rapper’s heaving breathing; or the fully entertaining 100 Miles & Running mix-tape that features the previous two aforementioned tracks, as well as some Gorillaz-aping and Amy Winehouse-biting.

But Wale’s got something up his sleeve in a mix-tape called The Mixtape About Nothing, which if you haven’t heard is his tribute to his favourite show about nothing, Seinfeld. Giddy up! According to EW.com’s Hollywood Insider, Wale’s even lassoed a cameo by Julia Louis-Dreyfus for a skit. (Louis-Dreyfus explained the kind gesture, saying, "Wale is my favorite artist because he's the only one who ever included me in a mixtape - hear that, P. Diddy?”)

Check out "Chicago Falcon,” a sneak peek from Nothing, produced by Mark Ronson and DJ Eli, to get a quick fix. Over a tag team of funeral organ and horns, and shuffling series of claps, Wale name-drops everyone from Jerry, Elaine and Costanza to Babu and Larry David, and best of all, slips in a diss to Michael Richards, saying "I hate rap like Kramer hates blacks.” And is that a snippet of the titular shout out in Tones On Tail’s "Go”?

If he can bypass the inevitable album delays and pesky premature leaking, Wale is the MC to watch in ’08. (I have a feeling I’m about the thousandth person this week to point that out though…)

"Chicago Falcon” (Remix)


"Good Girls”

100 Miles & Running