Washington, D.C. native and artist, Wale, releases his new album Folarin II. The album contains influences from his Nigerian parents and is a sequel to his 2012 mixtape Folarin. It features artists such as J. Cole, Rick Ross, Jamie Foxx and others. Wale produces 15 songs to feed the souls of various listeners.
With both albums being named after his mother and speaking Yoruba on the track “Down South,” the artist explains why he decided to include his culture in an interview with Billboard.
“I think it’s essential for the younger generation to know that I will always have pride in my culture,” Wale said. “The good, the bad, and the ugly make us who we are. I take a lot of satisfaction when I see successful Nigerians and kids in the diaspora because many of us had difficult upbringings or pressure to be perfect for our parents.”
After battling with COVID-19, the artist admits that he looks at life and music differently. Being a veteran in the music game, Wale fought with the idea of not being relevant anymore. He compared himself with mainstream artists and questioned whether he can pull the same crowd.
By taking a different approach, Wale decided it was time to produce Folarin II. The artist made this album for his ride-or-die fans and felt like it was the perfect time to continue the story he had already started in the mixtape Folarin.
Jasmin Bevans, a freshman Spanish major from Maryland, loves the vibe Wale brings to his music.
“I like Wale because his artistry is unique,” Bevans said. “I do not think he’s ever tried to conform to what trending music is currently. He is always relatable and still makes music you not only hear but feel, and as a consumer, I love that.”
The artist explains his album cover to Apple Music as giving his flowers to his inspirations. The album features two known songs, “Angles” featuring Chris Brown and “Poke it Out” featuring J. Cole. The upbeat songs give a club on Saturday vibe.
The rest of the album contains stylistically lyrical songs about his life experiences maturing into his artistry. A fan favorite, “Fluctuate”, tends to remind fans of the old Wale.
Mackenzie Scott, a sophomore TV and Film major has some disappointments about the album.
“Overall, I give the album a 6/10. I was just disappointed because it’s not what I am used to when it comes to Wale,” Scott said.
The artist has repeatedly mentioned that this soundtrack is for his day ones. Wale notes that you are going to keep rocking with him, or you don’t. The artist makes it clear that he is being transparent with his new music.
With the epic return of Wale, the fans are going crazy. He was an act at this year’s Rolling Loud festival in New York City. The transparency and the lyrical melodies are something that fans can’t resist.
The album is now sitting at number 15 on Apple Music’s top albums chart. An extraordinary album that you do not want to miss. It can be found on all streaming platforms.
Copy edited by Lauryn Wilson
[Correction: This Nov. 1 story incorrectly spelled the name of Wale’s album as ‘Foralin II’. Upon additional review, The Hilltop has noted the correct spelling of the album name is ‘Foralin II’.]