Golden Salvation (Jesus Piece)
Mercurial rapper Wale has a lot of haters, and he uses much of Gifted to address them with sharp responses like "The Curse of the Gifted" and "LoveHate Thing." But by adopting a scattershot approach to his third album, from interpolating Tears for Fears' "Mad World" for "Vanity" to aiming at radio charts on the low-denominator "Clappers," he fuels criticism that he's too unfocused to reach his potential. The rousing "88" and "Black Heroes" brings him back to his beloved D.C. go-go sound as he shouts on the latter, "Tell these n*gg*s this is my house." Next time, he should prove it.