Wale – Folarin II
“Wale (aka Olubowale Victor Akintimehin) delivers to his fans blockbuster albums. On Folarin II, each song feels like a win, a big score.” – American Songwriter
“Folarin II ranges back through years of missteps, recoveries, and his ever-
constant battle for acknowledgment as one of rap’s greats” – UPROXX
“The verbose DC-area MC holds fast to the buoyant, conversational sound that’s filled his catalog.” – Entertainment Weekly
“Wale prides himself on the art of consistency. It’s his biggest contribution to hip-hop.”
– XXL Magazine
Grammy-nominated rap star, actor and advocate Wale releases his long-awaited album Folarin II, a versatile, yet cohesive constellation of braggadocious bars, soul-baring romantic confessionals, and moving social commentary. Full of dynamic lyricism, stylish production, and studded with features from J. Cole, Chris Brown, Rick Ross, and more, Folarin II fortifies Wale’s status as one of the defining artists of his generation.
For his latest Warner Records album, Wale flips between sounds and moods, dipping into flirty wordplay and mid-2000s R&B samples one moment (“Poke It Out” with J. Cole and “Angles” with Chris Brown) and triumphant, yet reflective tracks the next (“Tiffany Nike” and “Light Years” with Rick Ross). On “Poke It Out,” he cruises over a sample of Q-Tip’s “Vivrant Thing” for a playful single, trading slick bars with Cole. Wale’s album-length balancing act is a testament to his skills as a writer and to his well-honed taste as a curator, qualities that helped him elevate to his place as one of rap’s premier tastemakers. It’s a position he’s maintained since bursting onto the scene over a decade ago and it’s one he’s steadily reminded fans of over the last few years.
Last November, he shared the bittersweet “Flawed” with Gunna. And in 2019, his sixth studio album Wow… That’s Crazy spawned the #1 single “On Chill” featuring Jeremih, which received a 2020 BET Award nomination for “Best Collaboration.” The Grammy-nominated artist’s list of accolades and accomplishments grows every year. He’s covered publications such as Complex, Billboard, XXL, Vibe, and Uproxx, and has received honors at the BET Awards, BET Hip-Hop Awards, Soul Train Awards, and more. To date, Wale has achieved six Platinum or multi-Platinum singles, three Gold singles, and two Gold albums. Folarin II shows that despite all the acclaim, he’s still focused on building a legacy, one that shines brighter than any plaque.
Folarin II Tracklist:
1. New Balances
2. Name Ring Bells
3. Poke It Out ft. J Cole
4. Tiffany Nikes
7. Light Years ft. Rick Ross
8. Angles ft. Chris Brown
9. Dearly Beloved
10. More Love ft. Shawn Stockman of Boyz ll Men & Sauce of Backyard Band
11. Jump In ft. Lil Chris of T.O.B.
12. Down South ft. Maxo Kream, Yella Beezy
13. Extra Special ft Ant Clemons
14. Fire & Ice
15. Beverly Blvd
Few rappers have been as versatile for as long as Wale. The DC rhymer has helped permanently collapse the worlds of backpack rap and the Billboard Hot 100, packaging social commentary with braggadocious bars and anthemic tales of romance and aspiration. And he’s still pushing forward with his newest album, Folarin II, a sequel to the 2012’s pivotal mixtape Folarin. With its blend of fly-guy theme songs, infectious R&B collaborations, and genuine soul-searching, the record reaffirms his status as one of rap’s most innovative, exciting, and enduring curators. Wale first broke out with 2008’s A Mixtape About Nothing. By the time he released his major-label debut album, 2009’s Attention Deficit, he was named a member of XXL’s Freshman Class—cementing his place as a venerable rap star. Over the next decade, he consistently expanded his catalog and perspective with albums like Ambition (2011), The Gifted (2013), The Album About Nothing (2015), Shine (2017), and Wow…That’s Crazy (2019). And though the title of Folarin II lends itself to nostalgia, its content shows he’s focused on the future. Heading into 2022, he’s looking forward to tapping in with his fans on tour and appearing in the new Michael Bay film Ambulance. While Folarin II is an argument for his role as an era-defining artist, Wale, confident in his stature, isn’t sticking around for individual accolades as much as the process itself. “I’m passionate about what I do,” he says. “I get up and I go to work.”