No funny pictures on this one
Y’all know who Wale is, no intro needed.
I wasn’t really big fan of this project. To me SHINE was mostly uninteresting and forgettable. I don’t mind a project not having any “bangers” in the traditional sense but I do have a problem with boring. If you decide to make an album that is not super heavy or energetic, production wise, you must be careful because you run the risk of being boring.
Sorry Wale, this is boring.
But like…why? I’m finding it really hard to present the reasons that I have no interest in SHINE. While some of the beats vary in energy, Wale’s rapping is pretty much the same throughout. He doesn’t use any particularly dope flows and there is a bunch of meh singing. There are two tracks that aren’t traditional hip-hop but more in line with the dancehall or Afrobeat stuff that has been seeping into pop culture. There was a big debate on Twitter (which Wale participated in) about the song “My Love” and whether it was Caribbean influenced or actually Afrobeat. Ultimately it doesn’t matter because the song was trash so I don’t care how you define it. The other track is “Fine Girl” which actually is not terrible. Wale is Nigerian and has stated that it has influenced his music in the past but I felt like these two songs were just following a trend.
There are more modern trap songs like “Running Back” and “Mathematics” and honestly I’d like to hear what Yung Thug would do with these two beats. “Mathematics” is pretty much a boring Travis Scott song (who has a feature on a song that I’m sure I heard like last year). “CC White” could easily be a J. Cole track.
I don’t even care about what Wale is rapping about. Oh, women again? Great!
My favorite song is probably “Colombia Heights(Te Llamo).” The looped synth line and descending 808 is almost hypnotic. There’s a section in Spanish by J. Balvin but that’s alright too.
I just don’t care about SHINE. What did Wale do to the current landscape of hip hop or to his own body of work with this? DAMN spoke to Kendrick’s consistency and gave us songs that could possibly be added to his top knockers. Rick Ross showed us that he’s still relevant. Big Sean gave us his best project yet. Joey Bada$$ went in on the current state of America. We got our yearly Drake offering that at least people talked about. Logic really wanted us to know that he was half black but it was excellently produced. What did this do?
I do appreciate Wale not making me trudge through a seven minute track and keeping the song titles properly capitalized.
Whatever, I’m disappointed and gonna to listen to “Bon Appetit” on repeat.
Listen to it if you want: