the gifted

Words by Edward T. Bowser,

Wale just might be R&B’s MVP right now.

For the past year, he’s lent his lyrics some of R&B’s brightest stars, including Chrisette Michele, RaVaughn, Marcus Canty, Omarion, and Lloyd. And on his third release, The Gifted, R&B returns that love.

Stokley Williams of Mint Condition injects soul into five of The Gifted’s most impressive tracks, giving Wale a soulful backdrop as he tackles various aspects of American life. It’s not just trap cliches and tales of opulence, it’s topical music all of Wale’s listeners can relate to.

Stokley’s gentle finger snaps fuel “LoveHate Thing” and alluring vocals invigorate “Sunshine” and “Black Heroes.”

But don’t worry, even with Stokley’s involvement, Wale is truly the star of the show.

Well, most of the time.

Even with its flaws, The Gifted remains one of Wale’s strongest releases. R&B fans will find lots of love.

To read the full review, take a trip over to

Can’t get enough of Edd? For more album reviews, relationship talk, pop culture news and Keith Sweat hero worship, visit and follow him on Twitter @etbowser.