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The title of Wale’s sophomore album pretty much says it all—these songs are dripping with swagger and self-assertion, justified by the D.C. rapper’s relentless flow and brazen attitude. Released by the Maybach Music label of Miami mastermind Rick Ross, Ambition doesn’t take Wale away from his underground past so much as kick him up to the next level. Part of the album’s positive glow comes from the involvement of A-list collaborators—DJ Toomp cranks up the party quotient on “Legendary,” and Big Sean dives into the mix on “Slight Work.” For his part, Wale believably asserts himself as a man on the rise, shrugging off past triumphs while daring all comers to take him on. “Don’t Hold Your Applause” and the title track (featuring Ross and Meek Mill) combine gangsta cool with a seething inner desperation. Stretching Ambition’s boundaries are “Miami Nights” (a salute to Ross’ home base, spiced with smoldering horns), “Lotus Flower Bomb” (an intoxicating slow jam with an erotic kick), and “Illest B****” (an affectionate salute to the ladies in his life).


Born: 21 November 1984 in Washington, D.C.

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

Years Active: '00s, '10s

The self-proclaimed "Ambassador of Rap for the Capital," Wale (pronounced "wah-lay") was able to transcend his status as local sensation and become a national rap contender using go-go-inspired hip-hop as the vehicle for his clever wordplay and music. Most of the major singles that ensued for him, however, were melodic slow jams spread across the tail end of the 2000s and well into the late 2010s. These hits, such as "Lotus Flower Bomb" and "Bad," supported albums that regularly landed near or at...
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Ambition, Wale
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