I loved Wale’s first few mixtapes, but I lost interest in him pretty quick. He seemed to lose his imagination as he got famous. But he’s back, and he seems to have learned his lesson. Wale’s new mixtape, Summer on Sunset, shows he has incredible talent as a rapper, writer, and performer—but the hunger and drive from his early work is here, too. He’s skilled and he’s experienced, but he’s just as fresh as ever.
Publishing Checks is funny—even if I don’t believe Wale makes all that much money from owning his songs. It’s Too Late is a great party song. Gangsta Boogie refreshes the old classic tune, and Wale brings Tha Dogg Pound along for the ride. And throughout the whole thing, he sounds like he’s having a blast. Remember when it was fun to be an artist with name recognition? Wale does.