Wale: “SHINE” Album Review

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Written By: Luke Belgrave

Facebook: Lukey Produce 

Wale`s S.H.I.N.E album is his fifth studio album. It was released on April 28th 2017.  S.H.I.N.E, which is an acronym for “ Still Here Ignoring Negative Energy “ can best be described as an album which aims to surround its listeners with positivity. On an interview with Complex news Wale also described the album as  “No bad energy, finding your inner peace and bossing out” . The album features big names like WizKid, “Major Lazer, and  Travis Scott.

He kick starts the album with a track titled “thank god” the song has a chill vibe and the beat has several different components in it’s melody. Rotimi was featured on this song also, he did a good job in complimenting the song by singing on the chorus and emphasizing the theme of the album. The track was produced by  Roget Chahayed, Cool & Dre  and  808-ray. He then collaborated with one of the biggest names in hip hop on his second track “Running Back,” Lil Wayne and of course he did what he does best, he added a lot of value and humor to the song with lyrics like “ I cut her off like a thread or string “ and “ I used to play running back, I turned that football to a money back “ I think most listeners appreciated this collaboration because they got to see a side of both rappers they don`t normally see.

Wale`s  SHINE album didn’t only stay in the hip hop genre, ” My Love” and  “Fine Girl” are songs with major afro beat style and influences. “ My Love “ was produced by  WizKid  and  Major Lazer. The beat definitely was a great one, you can`t listen to this song without dancing to it. Wale did a great job with compiling his lyrics and using keywords that people can relate to while dancing. On his eighth song on the album “ Mathematics ” Wale raps about his record label and all the persons he lost along the way and also people he don`t speak to anymore. I think this song really meant a lot to him because of the way he raps in this particular song. His rap was very appealing and addictive, his vocals fit perfectly to the beat and every bar he raps is genuine and heart felt. This song was produced by Southside  and Hit-Boy they both collaborated superbly on this beat.

The thirty two year old American rapper certainly showed his skills on his sixth track on the album entitled “Columbia Heights”. He raps in Spanish throughout the majority of this song, which was really enjoyable, I think most listeners will appreciate his versatility. He also broaden his audience to Spanish speaking individuals as well. Wale  also showed his sensitive side on the album with tracks like  “Heaven on Earth”  and ” MY PYT.”  ” Heaven on Earth” featured Chris Brown and was produced by  Super Miles, the track had a smooth vibe and Wale  definitely made a good choice in having Chris Brown featured on this particular song, they both worked really well together on this track. Wale then went even deeper with his track “ DNA ”. He talks very bluntly about sex on this song, he also uses metaphors and other figurative language to bring across this message. The track has the most distinct song on the album, it separates itself from the other tracks because it`s composition comprises of a mixture of R&B, Hip Hop and Poetry.

This is one of Wale`s greatest body of work, It`s hard for me to say which song I loved the most but I think his “ Fish N Grits “ track was my least favorite. He had Travis Scott featured on this song and Travis did a good job on the chorus but I expected more from Wale  lyrically. This album is the definition of what a hip hop album should sound like and I think most hip hop fans would agree.