Wale Delivers 'Freedom Of Speech,' Preps Folarin Mixtape

(Wale on the direction of his new music)

Wale promises that fans who are only familiar with his Ambition album will be in for a "rude awakening" when he drops his next album in early 2013, but looks like he's actually gonna warm 'em up a little with his new mixtape Folarin, due on December 24. That is, if his first single "Freedom of Speech" is any indication of what's to come.

The D.C. rapper samples Willie Hutch's "Brother's Gonna Work It Out," adds in bits of speech from President Obama and gets back to the pre-MMG era Wale. Download here.

"I just wanna show range. I've proven a lot to my peers and to myself and to my fans, so I just want to take it back to something a little bit more exciting, when the music was most exciting to me," Wale told MTV News of his upcoming album, which he's hoping to prep for February release.

"I've been [swamped with] my own stuff, doing [MMG compilation album] Self Made and all of those things, and I haven't had an opportunity to stand on my own sonically as an artist, as much as I would like," he admitted. "But this new project I've been working on is definitely allowing me to do that. I've got about 40 songs recorded, but it's not coming as quickly as other projects. Self Made, I could just hear the beat [and rap], but now I can be like, 'I don't like the strings, I don't like the percussions, let's change the snare,' and I might be doing it myself, so it's a little bit different."