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REVIEW: LRG presents Wale, Back To The Feature (Wale And 9th Wonder)

For the past few years the underground, internet hip-hoppers, bloggers and backpackers have been raving about the kid, Wale. I’d be fronting if I said I didn’t notice that the D.C. repper could play with words and rhymes like his daily diet consisted of Alphabet Soup. That’s just the kind of impression he left on me after listening to some of his songs and freestyles. Though he’s not the type to just devour a beat like a Big Pun or Canibus, he is the type to continuously build substance on a track. And that’s what’s up like a Pixar fillm.

When son said, “See it’s sort of like the beat cryin’/better it than me cryin’, keep quiet/the red head step son of the industry I’m in/rap fans, meet Ron Howard/far from an Opie/mind like the sword of Shanobi/butter knife rappers can’t clone me/a lil’ more Talib, less Jay-Z/a lil’ less Nasir, more AZ/a lil’ more Consequence than Kanye/the underdog from the underground, Wale,” on “Rhyme and Reason” he really spoke volumes without tearing down mountains. Read in-between the lines and you shall find some next sh*t. That’s what sets him apart from the new school of MC’s and why he has a cult following. He had me at, “Charles Hamilton… that’s NOT my niqqa…” I’m a CH fan, but Wale blew up the spot.

And though heads is complaining that homie is featuring too many heads on this project, you gotta understand that dude is sparing with hip-hop’s best MCs and proving that not only can he hold his own, but that he can be just as, if not more creative than his celebrity peers. He seesawed something ridiculous with Bun B on “Talkin Shyt” and reuniting Beans, Freeway and Young Chris (there’s that “Young” again) on “Cypha” was sicker than anything Michael Moore could cover. That track was just the bomb. You could sell that track to terrorists and promise them destruction.

When the mixtape was all said I done I was left with a few questions. First of all, why isn’t 9th Wonder considered a necessity whenever someone is making a hip-hop album? Back in the ’90s if you didn’t have a Premier beat on your album then you did not have a hip-hop album, period! In my opinion you still don’t. But why isn’t 9th Wonder acknowledged in that same sense? Even Lil Jon and Jazze Pha bum ass had his moment. What the fuck? Second, LRG is a pretty cool clothing line, why hasn’t the hood caught on? True Religion and Ed Hardy are trash!! Finally third, Wale is something nicer than Mick Foley. Was it the beats or the rhymes? Or was it both? I don’t know? But will his fame have him disappear into a Phantom with a driver when the world catches on or will he continue keep the underground on fire? I just hope he doesn’t date bald white chicks after he goes platinum…-The Infamous O

Hottest Joint: Too many to name. Might as well scramble eggs on this project.

Weakest Joint: “Um Ricka”

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  • Brian

    Dude’s the real deal. Plus the whole thing w the features is, thats the point on this tape. Previously he barely used anyone, and on his record he only has like 3 heads. Most exciting rapper since Hov, or since Kanye’s 1st.

  • Mixtape Monsta

    While 9th is a tad too HIP-HOPIShH / Soulful for me at times the mixtape has a lot of bright spots that make it a collectors item. Only thing in rotation in my Zune right now is BTTF, The Medium and Black Out 2… Wale and SE Slim killin shit in the DMV right now.

  • Lu

    Back to The Feature>>>>>So Far Gone.

    Yea I said it.

  • $ykotic


    • $ykotic

      Whoa! Something’s wrong with the XXL server! I actually saw the Pierzy posted as “first”!

      Been actually seeing old comments snuck in between already posted ones all day!

  • $ykotic

    I had this last week.

    Don’t even think twice and DL it.

  • Pierzy

    What up O & $yk…

    I have to say – I’m a big fan of Wale and this mixtape is FIRE!!

  • O

    What’s good? I can see how one would feel 9th is too hip-hopish, but that’s how I love it. Him and Wale made some dope hip-hop together, man…

    • DV8

      Yo Omar!!!!

      Even the track you deemed the wackest was tight in my opinion. Gotta really listen. The last verse on that song was hot.

      • O

        Lyrically he did him, but I just couldn’t groove to it. That’s just me though, na’mean…

  • DV8

    I love this mixtape!!!!!!!!!!!
    Lyrics to Go and Beats for days…………

  • klutch

    wale is the truth he also has a good ear for beats

  • Low Key Kid

    I just went to see Wale live in Sacramento last night and the kid’s got me convinced: He’s ILL. He’s Prepared to take on the Shiny Music Biz and do it right. That Lady Gaga move was suspect but when he performed it last night, even I had to GO NUTSO! Scarub & Very were there too, and I just realized how DAMN good that Classic EP really is!

    Anyway, Wale actually IS one of those Next Big Things. Out of all those freshman Ten, I think he’s the one and only truly star-powered artist. Son got it.


    • DV8

      I didnt know he was out here. I bet they was announcing it on the radio and since I dont listen to the radio I missed it. Damn!

  • http://www.xxl.com GeNe E

    didnt 9th use the “Say It Again” beat for “What More Can i Say” on “Black Is Back”? WHatever the case, this album is straight LAVA!!

  • Terrence

    O, when you gonna review the mixtape from Ti’Jean?

    DMV has the two best upcoming rappers with national/international appeal, Wale and Ti’Jean….superstars in the making. And they are friends, so it’s cool.

    Glad you are reviewing artists from the DMV. XXL is doing well with covering rappers from the DC area. So much talent here.

  • Adam S.

    I heard Wale is doing a show with Ti’Jean somewhere in DC. That’s show is going to be amazing, I need to get tickets when they go on sale.

    That new Ti’Jean mixtape is going to be sick as hell!!! No rapper from the DMV ever flowed like this dude.

  • mars blackmon

    a little predictable. of course the xxl review would call “um ricka” the “weakest.” couldn’t get past the different sound. magazine of choice for the small minded and musically disinclined. the beat as on, the lyrics were on!

  • Mike DMV

    Um Ricka was definitely the weakest joint but still wasn’t that bad. People mistake weakest with bad, they are not the same.

    Wale is just good though, he has great management. By far he is not the best rapper from the DMV, just most national exposure. Ti’Jean out of the DMV has the best chance to be a big star actually. Omar, you MUST critique his mixtape asap…..you’ll love it.

    • O

      “Um Ricka was definitely the weakest joint but still wasn’t that bad. People mistake weakest with bad, they are not the same.”

      THANK YOU, Mike! Weakest doesn’t mean it was WACK, it just meant it was the least hottest or most average, na’mean. I’ll look into Ti’Jean. See if I can get a hold of his mixtape…

  • mars blackmon

    i don’t think anyone countered my main point. I guess I love MUSIC, other people like what’s HOT. that’s fine, i’m glad you admit that(or agree that’s XXL’s game…along with most “music” zines) but anyone can recognize “hot shit.” few people recognize good music.

    • Brahsef

      Congrats, you know music better than everyone else. No one cares.

  • HERM

    B2TF and J. Cole’s The Warm Up are getting steady play in the crib and whip – nothing, but dope hip hop. What more can you ask for?

    Oh yeah, I’m with you O, on why there’s not a whole lot of people feeling LRG. Beats me, I rock that shit.

    • Mike DMV

      HERM, I’m with you. add in Em’s song 3am and then new mixtape by Ti’Jean and you have my driving and gym songs.

      LRG is tight, got really cool t-shirts.

  • Mike DMV

    sup O! As usual, great reviews. is Ti’Jean’s in the pipeline also? Hope so!

  • http://www.iAmHipRock.com TDH85

    Yo O, here is the zshare to download Ti’Jeans mixtape:


    FYI, this is a legit link. He set it up himself.

  • http://www.myspace.com/milwaukeelateef MILWAUKEE LATEEF



  • Don’t Come

    This nigga is tight, but he aint really from DC, he’s from Montgomery County Maryland. But even if he was from DC, that nigga Livewyre is the best nigga I ever heard from The City.

  • john

    THE UM RICKA Joint is hot the XXL staff sucks…