Review: Wale – It’s Complicated

Love is complicated, isn’t it? The poetic rapper, Wale recently dropped a 4 track EP, called It’s Complicated, that is all about love and it’s complications. For many of us, the EP was an unexpected surprise from the artist. It’s Complicated is Wale’s first offering since his 2017 album, Shine. Let’s see just how complicated Wale’s take on love is.

  1. “It’s Complicated”

The title track starts off with piano, synths and drums sounds that are perfectly sandwiched together into a smooth instrumental, with a tempo that’ll have you snapping your fingers without a doubt. But Wale shifts focus from the beat and onto himself, forcing you to focus on his words as he starts his verse with, “It’s complicated to find a lady in my generation, that’s not preoccupied with social clout…” Wale pours himself out on this track, being honest about his reality–wanting loyalty, currently having someone who loves him. However, Wale still is licking his wounds from his ex-girlfriend resulting in him being extremely guarded. It’s complicated. Should he only give free compliments or expensive gifts? Maybe both? Again, it’s complicated. His success and fame brings its difficulties in finding love. Wale appears to be our patient and gives us the role of his psychologist–with Wale labeling himself as “damaged goods.” Wale confesses he doesn’t believe in “pure love” and that “love is earned” but questions if love is even worth investing in. I can’t cover it all but LISTEN TO THIS TRACK. All in all, lyrically…this is a very deep track.

2. “Black Bonnie” (feat. Jacquees)

This stark, bass-heavy production on this track is not really my cup of tea. Wale looks at himself as Clyde and appreciates his Black Bonnie so much that he gets her Prada and pays her school tuition. Jacquees sings about confiding his fears and chasing dreams with his “Black Bonnie.” Wale follows this with bars praising his “Black Bonnie’s” modesty, accepting nature, and trustworthiness. He ends his verse saying that Black Bonnie has “grown” from wanting Prada to wanting wisdom. “Black Bonnie” ended up being my least favorite song on the EP but is still definitely a song worth listening to.

3. “Effortless”

First thing first, I love this instrumental. I need to find out who is the singer on this track–she’s gained a new fan. Okay, back to the review. She flawlessly sings on the chorus, “so effortless…that’s why I love you, you got me shook up…” an interpolation of LL Cool J’s 90’s classic “Around the Way Girl,” which sampled the Mary Jane Girls’ “All Night Long.” With a chorus that drives the track powered by that heavenly voice, Wale relaxes and takes the backseat, giving us some singing and some bars. “Maybe shawty could be the first, to show me how to love on a level where effort isn’t work.” This last line shows us Wale’s idea of how he hopes to one day love. A great record from Wale, if you disagree you may be insane.

4. “Let It Go”

“You’ve got to let it go.” It seems like the chorus is more for Wale himself than the listener. Wale continues to admit that he’s cold-hearted and holds pessimistic views on love. Clearly a reoccurring theme on the record (and in the artists’ work in general), Wale also confesses that he is insecure despite of who you think he is or should be. Wale goes further and expounds on life experiences that have made him mature enough to admit these things. “Now wait on me or be lowkey, girl either way Imma be lonely.” Wale seems to be stuck in a complicated love and on a deeper level, his pain. “We all get hurt, but we don’t heal the same…Would you rather heartbreak, or not feel a thing?” 2 minutes and 43 seconds go by very quickly and just like that, the EP is done.

Wale gave us a little over 13 minutes of diary-like testimonies and confessions, alongside some fundamental questions that everyone in love or wants wants to be in love should ask themselves. Honestly, this EP spoke to me personally. I think a lot of us believe love is complicated, especially in our 20’s. Wale is transparent on this EP and continues to show why lyrically his pen is top-rated today in Hip-Hop. This is an EP that I believe everyone should listen to, especially if love has been feeling complicated to you. Don’t come and start laughing or making fun of me, Valentine’s Day has since passed, abeg.

For a Hip-Hop EP, with an emphasis on poetry and the topic of complicated love, I don’t think Wale missed anything. This EP is short and sweet with high replay value. Yes, Wale could have added a variety of things, but this short EP is exemplary for it’s intended audience.

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