A few weeks ago we covered the new LP from Rick Ross‘ protege Wale, Ambition. The album was surprisingly palatable, but one song that positioned itself immediately for further appraisal was “Sabotage.” The cut came about halfway through and featured the R&B singer Lloyd (who coincidentally released a song some months ago called “Dedication to My Ex [Miss That]” which we gave a ‘Song of the Day’ to).
“Sabotage” establishes itself with a warm guitar riff, a warmth bereft from many of the other tracks on Ambition. This is fortunate, for while Wale may spin rhymes about his Casanovaic behavior and other common, slightly degrading fare, the central sample melts most of it away. At its heart is a narrator who is bewildered by his lover’s contradictions: “When it fall right in your lap you’ll be ready to get up,” he says. There’s a tenderness in admitting he loves one obstinate woman even when he brags he can go somewhere and ”get eight more.” Lloyd is Wale’s avenue for that tenderness, as his voice is syrup.
The song is one long crescendo. There’s a precipice reached when Lloyd begins the chorus and the horns come in, and the song dwindles slightly to accommodate for Wale’s second verse. Yet, when Lloyd comes in again, the recording explodes, helped immensely by Wale’s pertinent observations, at one point exclaiming, “God damn, drummer!” It’s the most jubilant the album ever gets, and Wale is so spent by the end that he asks hoarsely for “some motherfuckin’ cough drops.” If only more artists knew how to crescendo like this….
Stream and download “Sabotage”