Yesterday, fans got to see Wale having some fun in the studio with DJ Money, teasing what sounded like a dope to single in the works. Today, that awesomeness was revealed to be “Lions, Bengals, and Bears (Freestyle),” which sees production from Money, Dante Carter, and Chad Paul and flips Jazmine Sullivan’s “Lions, Tigers & Bears.” The track sees Wale playing lyrical gymnastics with endless sports references:
“Lions, bengals, and bears, none of my guys scared, Chase rumbling anyone of them guys there, Wayne young and he hungry I pray we patient with him, I pray he leave with some money, I pray he leave with his health/
Yeah, uh, the physical and mental, the thing I like ’bout football is the stats kill opinions, this rap s*** a lick to n***as, I ain’t ’bout to knock it, this whole summer I was buying all the winter product/”
“Lions, Bengals, and Bears” marks Wale’s first official drop since this summer’s The Imperfect Storm, a criminally slept-on effort that saw the D.C. rhymer addressing many of the current chaotic issues we’ve been dealing with this year. Prior to that, his sixth studio LP, Wow... That’s Crazy, was released in 2019 and saw 15 cuts with assists from Jacquees, Ari Lennox, Boogie, Megan Thee Stallion, Lil Durk, 6LACK, and more. That project also earned Wale his fourth top ten placement on the Billboard 200 thanks to 38,000 album equivalent units sold.
Mr. Folarin has been spending the year contributing high-quality verses to others as well, including Omarion’s “Mutual,” THEY.’s “Losing Focus,” Rotimi’s “In My Bed,” Queen Naija’s “Butterflies Pt. 2 (Remix),” and Skip Marley’s “Slow Down (Remix),” among others.
Press play on DJ Money and Wale’s “Lions, Bengals, and Bears” below. One can certainly hope that this means more from Wale & Co. before year’s end.