Wale vs. Cudi: Who Made the Better Debut?

Over the course of past few days I’ve been reading projections on what Wale’s debut, Attention: Deficit, is going to do. Needless to say, the “guesstimation” is about 28,000 in his first week. We really won’t know until next Wednesday but if those figures hold true that really sucks because Wale made a really good album.

In fact, I told y’all that a few months back when I reviewed the album. Since no one had heard it way back in September when the review dropped everyone kept hitting me with the exact same question: “Is it really that good?”


I don’t blame anyone for doubting that Wale could’ve made a good album, because, honestly, I went into the listening session with the same concerns. I didn’t expect much so I was pleasantly surprised to hear good music (“Beautiful Bliss”), unique topics (“90210”), dope production (“Mirrors”), catchy hooks (“Pretty Girls”) and actual substance (“Diary”). Yeah, he has a tendency to say, “My name’s Wale” a heck of a lot but Attention: Deficit is a solid album.

Problem is with all the push back and delays I didn’t even know the album was dropping last week. Yeah, I know, career fail blah blah but I already heard the album back in like August so it wasn’t like I was anxiously waiting for the link to pop up online BestBuy to open last Tuesday morning. That doesn’t mean I don’t want the kid to win. Because I hate to see great projects go unnoticed while bullshit rises to the top of the charts.

Not that first week or total sales have any real effect on the actual quality of an album, I pray that these estimates are way off. I mean, that can’t be true, right? Think about it: Wale has had some pretty good looks. He was on the front cover of XXL’s 2009 Freshmen issue (among other mags); he had house band duties during the MTV VMA Awards, which must have increased his national visibility; he performed on most of the late night talk shows including Jimmy Fallon with the Roots; he has a couple songs in rotation, he landed opening act duties for Jay-Z’s Blueprint 3 tour; and he actually delivered a good album.

What else does Wale have to do to succeed? Nothing actually. He did his part. The fans (read you & me) just have to.

Now I also had the pleasure of reviewing Kid Cudi’s album, which most of y’all defecated on (Oh, well). Despite popular belief, I still think Cudi made a good album. Personally, I like depressing music but that’s just me. I totally understand why most people didn’t care for the Cleveland kid’s kick-off disc, because even I’ll admit that it wasn’t the album I was expecting.

While in Wale’s case it was a welcome surprise, Cudi’s was more of a head-scratching surprise. It was way more singing than I had expected, but the more I listened to the album the more it grew on me.

Despite the glum overtones, there are joints that knocked (IMHO) like “Simple As…,” “Heart of a Lion (Kid Cudi Theme Music),” “Enter Galactic (Love Connection, Pt. 1)” and, of course, “Make Her Say.” Now I understand that the aforementioned tracks may not be up the alley (pause) of the diehard rap purist, but if you on some chill out shit these tracks would do the trick.

But, hey, I’m the same guy that liked Kanye’s last album (remember this) so maybe my tastes are just a tad different than most.

Still, if Cudi’s album was so “bad” why did he sell over 104,000 units in his first week, while Wale is only “projected” to sell a mere 28,000? Sure, Cudi has only managed to tally up an additional 90K since his release in September; but based on public opinion I’m sure most will say Wale made the better album. If that’s the case, it’s a shame that more people don’t support what they actually like. (No, shots at the Man on the Moon).

But I’m getting ahead of myself, as the final numbers for Wale won’t be out til next week. Like I said earlier, it doesn’t matter whether or not he sells 28K or 128K in his first week or 101st. I’ll paraphrase Cudi’s Mid Western brethren Common, “Black music is Black music and it’s all… Good.”

Who do you think made the better debut—Cudi or Wale? Did Cudi deliver the album you expected? What about Wale—did he surprise you with this record? Why do you think Wale is projected to sell so low?

Speak your piece… —Anslem Samuel

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  • Mike D

    for now its a TIE

    both great LP

    • RiZob

      what the hell? is this really a post? Wale had the better album, but he doesnt have a hit record thats getting played. Kid Cudi had the “Day N Nite” record that was played EVERYWHERE and ALL THE TIME, thats why he put up better 1st week numbers….this shit isnt rocket science, one good single is all you need to sell an album….

      • joe p


    • jbird

      KiD CuDi blew the doors off the rap game with his cd Man On The Moon!!! I’m a lil older so I’ve matured to really appreaciate good rap. I used to listen to P(Ice Cream Man), Dre(Chronic), Nas(Illmatic) … back in the day. Rap, shall I say my rap, has revitalized it’s image and is more chilled out and real now. Kid Cudi’s Soundtrack 2 My Life is repeatedly played in my cd player for days on end. I like listening to rappers who spit the real music in a chilled out mode. I haven’t heard Wale, but Cudi has my vote as one of the best in the game right now. Another rapper I’m waiting on is B.O.B. aka Bobby Ray(now). This dude B.O.B. gots his shit straight too. I heard him before his Grand Hustle deal, but I’m sure he hasn’t changed much. The rap game needs to deal with and get rid of the 50 Cents/Lil Waynes. C’mon Wayne just say you got your style from Gillie. Gillie’s Get Down On The Ground is a nice song too. I guess I’m saying you have to have some content to your songs and not the same shit. But wait, let me not forget one of the greats that is no longer with us, Stack Bundles. RIP Stack!! This was one of the brightest stars on the rise before he got cut down. To all my fellow content enabled rap fans, check out Stack Bundles, B.O.B., Kid Cudi. Nobody can compare to these folks. O and did I forget to mention Lil Zane’s Young World The Future. Add Lil Zane to my list. Don’t forget Money Stretch! I’m done.

      • hyh

        u either an AnR or a faggot

      • BigBoy8950

        Homie how are you gonna say Cudi was better when you didnt even hear Wale? Child please.. thats just ignorant.. I love Cudi’s album but half of the time he doesnt even rap. Attention Defecit by Wale was all out amazing.. Great CD great music.. AND HE RAPS THROUGHOUT THE WHOLE CD!! I love Cudi but Wale had the better Hip Hop Cd.. And come on man you cant come on here and say that just cause you heard 3 good LP’s that you know about rap.. You gotta keep listening..

  • ryne rich

    i dont even gotta listen to wale cd to know kid cuddi was dope his shit stayed on my laptop for a while its not depressing music at all, its somber.

  • http://twitter.com/thiskiddiscrazy EZ-E_TheKidd

    Kid Cudi

  • az

    i am huge fans of both artists but id have to say wale i felt as tho kid cudis mixtapes were better than the actual cd, while wit wales joint i can listen from front to back which is rare nwdays

    • Nu Drenaline

      I wouldn’t say his mixtapes were better(and i had all of them on rotation for awhile) but they were definitly different then the album. Even his first single from the album didn’t give you a good rep of what the rest of the joints were going to be like. I definitly think Cudi had the better debut for the reason that most of the songs seemed to keep in theme(stoner music)and you could definitly listen to the whole album. Wale’s album has some songs that really stand out (beautiful bliss, 90210, Diary)but the whole album dosen’t follow through in my opinion still a good debut.

  • j

    …”Why do you think Wale is projected to sell so low?” Because chicks don’t buy lyricists. You have to make records for ladies if you want numbers.

  • capcobra

    they both got good press and strong co-signs…the difference is cudi had a hit and wale doesn’t…at least not yet.

  • http://xxlmag.com Blakout615

    “Why do you think Wale is projected to sell so low?”

    I havent heard either album so I cant speak on that but as far as Wale being projected to sell less,you have to remember Cudi’s “day n nite” was a hit song. The shit had like 10 million views on youtube. And his song with Kanye and Common had more play than that stuff Wale dropped wit lady gaga. So without a big hit, Wale aint bout to move a huge amount of units even if the music is good. Thats the industry for ya

    But yo, where is the 2010 freshmen class at? Or are yall still mad that you didnt include Drake last yr and u dont wanna risk making that mistake again? Ha

  • http://xxlmag.com Blakout615

    I see Wale gettin his Memphis bleek on in that pic

  • http://www.facebook.com/maxprofit Max Profit

    Kid Cudi makes music you can smoke(trees)to.

    • dat koon nigga

      i agree

      i fucks with kid cudi

  • ApolloKid551

    I think Kid Cudi is the future, he is original, his lyrical content is diverse, his concepts are different & groundbreaking, he is one of the best artists of this decade, Man On The Man is a musicial experience with different soundscapes, different moods & lyrics that are simple but complex in the structure so i think ill take Kid Cudi over Wale who is also a dope artist but needs improvement i think he tries 2 hard 2 be accepted by mainstream wen he find his lane then i think him along with Kid Cudi, Skyzoo, Sha Stimuli, Tonya Morgan & Big Chris will be the real future of Hip-Hop…

  • http://www.freewebs.com/geoffbrennan Gebra

    Cudi had co-sign to the extreme – everybody was on the album, giving cudos to the mc, cudi was on the cover of great pop magazines – he did his part. Wale – you can’t star in a page 16 LRG commercial and cut loose – you need to do way way more than that (don’t bother mentioning mtv awards – nobody gives about the tin pan alley side stage when they cut to commercial anyways).

    Now, the big issue here is how do you sell Wale to the record buying public? Boy has no backstory, his look is as edgy as molasses (lady gaga in his vid was smart, but the video was boring as hell – did anyone watch any of her videos first? LG knows how to makie sick hyped videos).

    Great rapper – no gimmick. No scene, no identifiable, standout skill – you can’t come out looking like pharoe monch these days! if wale looked like nelly and had some dude with a jason mask in his crew – we’d be all like “all wale, all day” – well, teenagers would be – sri lankan kids at the mall would rock wale shirts at the mall while stealing polo cologne – coulda been wale!

    i’m not going in on this guy look-wise or skill wise, what he needs is a character – badly.

    when a rapper gets famous because of a gimmicky mixtape, awesome – now how do you sell that gimmicky mixtape for $15? exactly – you don’t.

    a gimmicky rapper though? priceless!


  • smooth

    Damn its so close I cant even call, but Wale did his thing. I’ll go Wale over Kid Cudi by a smidget..

  • AZ40

    In the lesser of two evils i’ll say wale had the better album…From what I hear there was a screw up with the label distribution that’s part of the reason he won’t do numbers…The wale album wasn’t what I expected in a bad way as far as lyrics and songwriting ability the boy got it but his production choices and some features were suspect to me, but hey it’s all a matter of taste and this was one album I was looking forward to…

    And don’t put to much stock into that XXL freshman shit like I keep sayin’ that’s like hip hop’s Madden Curse

  • cmongebra

    Gimmick rapper??
    That makes no sense, u just want to hate, take that shit elsewhere

    Attention: Deficit = Man on the Moon

  • fresh1087

    I will def go with WAle! Attention deficit was IMO top 3 albums of the year.. CUdi would be like 10 on my list. Wale raps about real stuff on his album. The album is real solid. Dont let the singles fool you (chillin & Pretty girls).. the album is not centered around that sound. The album is dope.

  • Nike Addict 707

    I think Wale’s album was better but I think his record sales are gonna be way lower because i tried goin’ everywhere to find his album but walmart, target, and best buy didn’t have his album in stock.
    plus, outside of the internets, not that many people know wale.

    i tried talkin to my friends about wale’s album and they said “isn’t that the guy who made that nike boots song?” So people didn’t really hear anything besides that and maybe “chillin” on the radio sometimes, but it wasn’t enough to make people wanna get it. i think if he made a video for “90210″ it would help him with the MTV audience and maybe boost his sales.

    but Wale’s album is one of the best of 09(mainstream) and i had to get mine from itunes, but i don’t think as much people are gonna buy it cause most stores didn’t have it,and i had to use someone’s credit card to get it on itunes and that’s too much trouble for most people so it’s just gonna get downloaded illegally.lol

  • Optimus Rhyme

    I thought they were both dope, that Attention: Deficit got severly undershipped to Indianapolis, Best Buy didn’t get ANY! I got Wale and Cudi in heavy rotation right now along with that new Brother Ali, Jay-Z and Eminem

  • General

    I think most of the comments hit it on the head as to why Wale didn’t sell as much. He just didn’t have that huge single. Honestly both are really good debut CD’s overall so both of them should be happy…

  • DetroitDraper

    Wale is fucking trash


  • RR

    As of Wednesday, you cannot find Wale’s album at Best Buy…true story.

    • RDS

      As of Friday, it’s still not available at Best Buy, Target or any other place I can think of besides Walmart. Lol

      Of course, I’m in Murdaland as they call it, right outside the DMV, so naturally it’ll be hard as hell to find it here. :-)

  • mizzy

    NEITHER…THE WINNER ISSSSSSS….BOAZ THE AUDIOBIOGRAPHY the kid is the truth if u sleepin u need to rise and shine

  • westcoastaggie

    Interscope definitely underestimated Wale’s music. The smart label would have dropped Beautiful Bliss and had a video around the drop date.

    One reason for the underestimation is that 360 Deal Wale is in. They make money off every appearance and show he does as well as anything he may endorse.

  • dj2morrow

    I like both artist but i cant really see myself listening to a whole Kid Cudi album so i give the edge to Wale. I think when it comes to says it all comes down to crossover/mainstream appeal. Wale makes go-go inspired rap music compared to emo like rap from Kid Cudi. I dont know how many people besides people that are from D.C, DMV, or open-minded rap listeners will dig Wale. Kid Cudi is inspired by a much more diverse group of music so more people are going to go for his music.

    Kid Cudi had an euro type remix to Day’n'Nite so thats even a wider range of people being introduced to his shit. It really comes down to just having a hip hip audience isnt going to translate into sales so you need to make it bigger then just that.

  • nllz

    wale….that cudi album is boring as shit.

  • x

    no gucci on cudi’s album so he wins



  • http://twitter.com/showersongs showersongs

    I think that there is one really big piece that everyone is missing:

    Cudi’s album was sold for 3.99 through Amazon for a while. Wale’s album has a regular price of 12.49 That price difference is definitely enough to impact sales.

  • ChRi$


    their both garbage.

    • Mr. North

      Co-sign that…but just the Cudi part. Did not hear the Wale for good reason I see.

      • cmoney85

        @ Mr North your a certified dick rider, how u not going to listen to one and the cosign. If you don’t like either one of there music already then u most likely shouldn’t leave an opinion. which im pretty sure u two dumbass idiots did anyway

  • Maurice Miller

    I think both are solid debuts. I copped the kid cudi joint=amazing! Heard the Wale joint on myspace and I’m definitly gonna cop that like asap! I would say it’s not that his doesn’t have a background story, i just think his music is for the everyday man like myself word! support the new dudes!

  • Jonesy

    I used to be a big fan of cudi and wale, but as soon as cudi dropped man on the moon i didn;t care much for him anymore( too much fuckin singing)So i gotta go with wale on this one.Cudi only sold so much because everyone fell in love with Day n’ nite .


    i pick cudi by default because i don’t fuck with wale

    • http://www.xxlmag.com 14snipez

      U backed me up on da dirty money joint awhile back i just never got da chance to get back to it. So I gotta ask why u ain’t fuckin with Wale i mean dude gets it in on the mic. I’m sure he might not appeal to a certain crowd but he’s geniune good hip-hop. I’m from Texas n I gotta co-sign with the ones who say his musik isn’t being promoted the way cudi’s is. Being that Wale is on interscope i would have thought they would have put more marketing dollars to use but then i remembered that this is the same label that houses 50, Em, and Game. Damn shame

  • newyawka631


  • Shawty J

    I’m on the fence about Wale’s album, I’m considering getting it, but I haven’t been able to get myself excited about him.

    I actually dug Cudi’s album, I was just listening to it an hour ago.

  • younghov402

    Wale shit is straight crack……

    He got a lot of conscious songs…..a couple club bangers……and dope lyrics

    Kudi shit was different, but good if you can get down with shit like that….I can

    but overall Wale album > Kudi album

    Roc Nation

  • gkid12345

    Wale >> Cudi Come on its a no brainer why cudi did those numbers, hit single Day N night and two moderate hits following that plus Humongous cosigns from hip-hop “heavyweights”. Still wale album is better and i wish it sold more

  • TheCoolest

    Let me put it like this:

    Lyrics: Wale > Kid Cudi
    Production: Kid Cudi > Wale
    Originality: Kid Cudi > Wale
    Features: Kid Cudi > Wale (Wale had gucci mane and lady gaga on the Cd,and he got murded on his own shit by J.cole)
    Flow: Wale > Kid Cudi
    Content: Wale > Kid Cudi (90210,Shades,Diary)

    = Attention Deficit and Man On The Mon are two very different albums.

    Cudi gets extra points because he’s not a whiny bitch like Wale….

  • mikel

    wale is way better than kid cudi, every time i listen to kid cudi i get the feeling of “i just dont give a shit what this guy is saying” about 30 seconds into the song. wale’s shit is real, cudi is all style no substance

  • tommy gunz

    i got both albums and they both completely different…i digged cudi’s shit, but that wale album is fire and i was not expecting that

  • Yeaaah

    Wale’s album is a 3/5
    Kid Cudi’s album is a 4.5/5

    • dageminiparadox

      u outta ur mind!

  • fastflipper

    WALE for sure

    Cudi is for emos gay kids

  • theonlyjhood

    WALE IS TRASHH… he says his name in his rhymes like 50 times… “ayo my name wale” or “my name wale” is fuckin annoying… his rhymes have no meaning!! i appreciate kid cudi for that emo rap… his album was like 808s and heartbreak without the 808… i liked it

    • deetruth

      theonlyjhood you clearly havent heard the album Wale doesnt even say “my name wale” more than 3times and his lyrics def have meaning if you didnt listen to the album dont throw hate dats stupid

  • Jae Milliano

    I have to admitt that i was pleasantly suprised by Kid Cudi’s album it was in rotation for a minute. I’ve been looking forward to Wale album for a looooong time. Went through the same problems as most though, record label undershipped it. Wal Mart had it tuesday but it was edited, couldn’t find it in best buy, f.y.e., or target until today!!!! But I have to give the edge to Wale. Not a fan of Cucci Mane at all but he didnt destroy the song. Wale did his thing front to back. OBFCL2 best of the year though.

  • flycat08

    wale hands down i can play his album all the way through cudi wack just my opinion doe

  • JoE BlakK

    yo all ya’ll saying cudi wack is crazy he made a full album about a man on the moon he told a story while wale is nice he just spits you cant say one is better then the other when they made 2 different albums plus cudi has some nasty freestyles on youtube so you cant sell em short

  • http://yahoo.com OgKevin

    i personally like cudi better…
    i think he tops drake,wale and other new commers..cudi has that lil something everyone can relate too in his songs…i agree some of his shit is a lil wierd but its still good music..
    and about the sales expectations i really dont pay attention too…like krs said..”why do sales have to be the mark to artistic talent?”
    …wale is still coo though…hes just doin what he gotta do haha

  • nicholasdelorejo

    “Because I hate to see great projects go unnoticed while bullshit rises to the top of the charts”

    The most realest statement I ever heard. It kills me how the appreciation of hip hop is geared to the most uninspired, uncreative projects while artists that do bring this to the table get ignored. You don’t gotta like Cudi or Wale but you got to respect them for bring music that’s different and rerlatible to other rap fans. Not everyone who purchases a rap album sold crack, get girls, or rock the hottest clothes in their daily lives. But many have tried to find themselves and comtemplated issues in their lives. Not saying those two are the only rappers to rap about that but the do embody it better than the rappers that get played on the radio.

  • http://www.studentsofhiphop.com oo

    Gotta give the W to Wale but Cudi’s album is fucking great too

  • Thhee

    Cudi all day. Solo Dolo MoFo’s

  • Mr Me

    Cudi kills it at all. Hes endless dope ^^ but Wale is pretty dope too, like his album!


    amazon has wale’s 4 $12.49…i have BOTH of these…Man on the Moon unfortunately gave me a 808 vibe…not wat i wuz lookin 4….adv Victor here….

  • Bria

    Kid Cudi

  • kps

    cudi of course , but wales was good too

  • http://xxlmag.com realtalk82


    I don’t really care for either of these dudes really but I hit the replay button waaaaay more on Wale’s album then I did on Cudi’s.I really can’t even tell you One song besides PokerFace that I even can jam to. The Diary record on Wale’s album had me from the beginning to end,Beautiful Bliss is dope too.But HipHop is not selling like it use to,Downloading free albums is what people wanna do now.I bought 3 real albums this year and my friends think I’m crazy for doin it but I feel like we gotta support if we want the good stuff to keep comin out.In the mean time,If artist can make a full album of tracks like Focus “Homage to Dr Dre” and keep the fire comin,I’ll buy the album if its that dope

  • http://www.justice.gov.za GO-Getta’

    They both different Mcees & it shows in their debuts.

    Kid Cup = expriemental
    Wale = food 4 thought.

    I cop both.

  • BAR

    Skyzoo=album of the year
    Not a Kudi fan. I think he’s boring and I think he was way overhyped. I’m a big Wale fan and I’m diggin the debut. As a critic standpoint, its tough to compare the two. Totally different artists. I’m not even sure i’d say Kudi’s rap.

  • Georgia Peach


  • brandonius

    Really, Wale is a faggot. simple and plain. get the fuck outta here.

    • deetruth

      so wale a fag but cudi isnt>? get outta here yall haters are terrible now smfh

  • http://www.myspace.com/ehmuzik3p ev4nholt

    i think wale is a good rapper. but he isn’t the rapper you can sell to the public. he only goes well with his die hard fans. people wont jus jump on his band wagon because of one song. it takes listening to his music for a while. unlike cudi and day n nite chillin didnt grab your attention. people might like the song and say it’s dope but they wont put it on replay. cudi had the single that set him up to get the record sales. wale didnt. unless you knew about wale prior to the album you wouldnt buy it. even when i play cudi’s album people dont feel it but they feel him cause of day n nite. if i play wale i get an instant cut that shit off he’s lame. cudi over wale album wise. wale has better lyrics than cudi thou. but cudi is more diverse

  • cmoney85

    I see a lot of people going off the single part as a reason one is more than another or at least more know. chillin should not have been the lead off single it definitely should have been Pretty girl. For those he say Wale got bodied by J Cole. Wale will give Cudi go lyrically and so would Cole so he loses twice. Cudi is more diverse my ass he is just a styleless lame

  • http://crimcitywimp.blogspot.com Ross

    Wale = meh.
    Cudi = meh.

    meh = who cares.

    But, Cudi got his track in at the end of this video from the GRL with the sick Nosaj Thing sample under it.
    So he gets my vote cuz Lou Gehrig’s writers gotta stay up too and Wale isn’t doing shit for the paraplegic cats.

    For. Fucking. Shame.

  • dizzle

    i dont understand people who say wale’s album was wack and they never heard it. thats so stupid. anyway though both albums were extremely dope. wale’s album was by far the best.


  • arry

    kid cudi’s album was the shit! Heart of a Lion, Pursuit of Happiness, Up, Up, & Away, Hyyerr?! Am I the only person that heard the album??? But Wale’s was pretty good(esp like shades, momma said, beautiful bliss, &90210) but i HAVE to give it to Cudi

  • Anonymous

    Kid cudi’s album is dopeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee…=)

  • Errol(The Black Robin Hood)

    Kid cudi’s Album is off the Hook…4 real..real shit..never fake..

  • dre

    If yall not giving it to Kid Cudi then yall didnt really listen to his album.. I rank Jay and Lupe high on the best rapper chart and Kid Cudi not far behind.. the tracks was bangin like Hyyerr and Cudi Zone.. and the the sequence of the album was amazing and the common skits were like telling the soundtrack of his life

  • Zale

    Man On The Moon: The End Of Day >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Attention Deficit
    Wale’s album bored the sh!t out of me. Glad I didn’t buy it. Cudi’s album didn’t have the greatest replay value either. But MOTM was one of my favorite albums in 09. I agree that Wale is a better lyricist (WALE>CUDI)but either way his music is still BORING AS HELL.

  • neesh

    Wale’s album was one of the greatest rap albums since Kanye’s 1st album. Personally, Im a female and I know 90% of the album. I feel like he has a buzz now. And maybe I’m naturally going to take his side b/c we are both from DC but lyrically WALE is beyond NICE