On 2009's Attention Deficit
, Wale tried to channel the popularity of his concept mixtapes into critical and commercial success. He failed. With neither goal accomplished, and Interscope focused on other efforts, it seemed Wale might fade into musical obscurity. Maybach honcho Rick Ross came to the rescue, with a career intervention/makeover that saved Wale from artistic obliteration. Thus he shuffles his persona again on Ambition
, his sophomore record and the first with the Maybach crew pulling the strings. "Maybach" is the first thing you hear, and again, frequently, reminding us who is in charge here. But Wale remains, silently and murkily himself, despite his surroundings.