To the Moon and Back With Wale’s “SHiNE”


We’re on a world tour with Wale Folorain, on his latest album, “SHiNE.” Going each and every place with a mic in his hand, the D.C. rapper takes his listeners all around the world within 14 tracks of clever metaphors, smooth beat selection, and fun features. Prepare for takeoff as Wale takes us on the ultimate international getaway.

Pack you bags and grab your flyest fit. We’re headed from one runway to the next as Wale brings us to New York in “Fashion Week.” Accompanied by G-Eazy coming straight outta Cali, the 2 artists come together for a cross-country collab dressing up their raps in fashion. Both Wale and G-Eazy are ready to catch a cutie fresh off the runway in these NYC streets. They’ve been around the block a few times by naming popular hotspots here such as Webster Hall, Up & Down, 1OAK and Barney’s, and mentioning who’s-who at New York Fashion Week, like Kendall Jenner and Jordan Dunn.

While Wale shows love to the women here on the homefront, he also happens to embrace the beauty in women overseas. Wale revisits his Nigerian roots by joining forces with other Naija stars, Davido and Olamide, on “Fine Girl.” This Afropop hit is ready for the clubs to make fine girls buss a wine all over.  But Wale doesn’t let the rhythmic afrobeats stop there. He takes us to the islands with “My Love.” Bringing Major Lazer, Dua Lipa, and WizKid along with him, Wale infuses dancehall vibes into another international hit.

While taking us through different corners of the globe, Wale also takes us back home. Whether he’s “DC Chillin” with Lady Gaga or incorporating gogo in music, Wale has no problem giving his fans a taste of DC flavor, Mumbo sauce and all. He brings us back to the block with the track “Columbia Heights.”With Columbia Heights being a predominately Hispanic/Latino neighborhood, he adds J. Balvin to the mix to sing in Spanish and even teaches us a phrase or 2 on the hook.

He also keeps a piece of home with an artistic approach in his song “CC White.” Wale mentions DMV legends, Len Bias and Marion Barry, who rose to fame yet unfortunately fell at the hands of crack cocaine. Fans really get a dose of “Wordplay Le” with this track taking us to every ghetto, every city effected by the epidemic of the Reagan era. He personifies cocaine as that troublesome “white girl” stirring up trouble infiltrating and destroying impoverished communities and black families. While hip-hop can sometimes glamorize this aspect with rags to riches stories of the come up, Wale shows fans the darker side of that white girl.

On a much lighter note, however, Folorain decides to take us inside of his world after jet-setting us to different countries, cities, and communities. In times of despair, his mind is still full of optimism and his heart is wide open. He creates “Heaven On Earth with Chris Brown in a catchy love song, shows he’s still keeping his dreams alive on “Scarface Rozay Gotti,”and shines light in the face of darkness with “Smile, featuring his daughter, Zyla Moon, and singer, Phil Ade.  His daughter is indeed his reason to smile, as his muse, his moon, and his universe. With “SHiNE” as an acronym for Still Here Ignoring Negative Energy, he stays true to the name by outshining the bleak bad news that might come across his way with plenty of positivity in his music.

Check out Wale’s newest album for yourself and see where it takes you. We could all use a reason to smile right? I’ve been taking a dream destination on “Scarface, Rozay, Gotti” and avoiding a trip to the kitchen with Wale and La Flame on “Fish N Grits.” While I think it’s a dope meal, it’s definitely my least favorite song.

Get your shine on and tell me what you might think of the album in a comment below.


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