D.C. native and MC, Wale, concluded the month of March with the release of his fourth studio album The Album About Nothing.
Continuing the trend from his Mixtape About Nothing (2008), and More About Nothing (2010), Wale has always been a major supporter of the hit sitcom Seinfeld and specifically the show’s lead character Jerry Seinfeld.
Wale wanted to meet the massively popular comedian for quite some time, yet never got the chance to do so until he met Seinfeld’s wife – a major hip-hop and Wale fan that connected the two.
Instantly, the rapper and standup comic shared a special bond, and Seinfeld signed on to narrate The Album About Nothing. Unlikely pairing? Absolutely. But unlikely pairings are what make the world go round and the duo teamed up for an excellent new album from the District of Columbia MC.
Seinfeld makes his presence known from the album’s opening introduction, and the light sounds of a soulful piano melody quickly ensue. Over the years, Wale has never had trouble setting the tone and bringing a positive vibe to his tracks. From mixtapes to album records, the D.C. rapper understands the soulful sounds that work for his style of wordplay, and “The Intro About Nothing” is no exception.
It’s also apparent that Wale possesses a special quality as an artist and a musician. He knows what his true fans enjoy, yet he isn’t afraid to experiment with new sounds and styles on every album he creates. Listening to The Album About Nothing, you’re taken on a completely different journey than that of 2009’s Attention Deficit, 2011’s Ambition and 2013’s The Gifted.
More than anything, Wale’s latest effort is a more comprehensive journey and album when compared to his previous three. Sure, Wale has created some incredible mixtapes throughout the years, but albums are still important, and the new class of hip-hop has made this a major focus these past few years.
This new class isn’t afraid to talk about real issues, real stories, and connecting their music with real moments in their lives. They all realize the importance of making music that people can relate with, and The Album About Nothing followed the lead of J. Cole and Kendrick Lamar.
Speaking of J. Cole, the North Carolina native reunited with Wale once again on standout track “The Pessimist.” Sampling some hilarious lines from George Costanza and embracing the attractiveness that comes from just not giving an f-u-c-k, Wale and Cole hit the nail on the head with this one.
To quote Costanza,
“I don’t want hope. Hope is killing me; my dream is to become hopeless. When you’re hopeless, you don’t care, and when you don’t care, that indifference makes you attractive.”
Hitting on the pessimistic attitudes and hopelessness that many black individuals feel growing up in our country, Wale speaks his mind on the record. He tries to talk them through the pain, the struggle and the pessimism that is so easy to resort to in tough times, and paints quite the picture.
Cole continues his genius on the hook and sings,
“Got a pocket full of lint again, but it make no difference to me. Fallin’ out with my friends again, but it make no difference to me. Goddamn I’m hopeless, oh man I’m hopeless. Got no gas in my tank again, but it make no difference to me. Overdraft at the bank again, but it make no difference to me. Goddamn I’m hopeless, Lord knows I’m hopeless, still I pray.”
As the album progresses, it’s easy to hear the pain in Wale’s voice and the struggles he encountered in producing his latest work. That much is echoed throughout the chorus of “Middle Finger,” when he declares “Fuck you, leave me alone.”
All he wants is to be respected in the music industry, and as a human being – it must be difficult to sit around and listen to the world critique your art.
Luckily, however, Wale is winning with the release of this album, and there’s no turning back now. All throughout The Album About Nothing, it’s beyond apparent that the District’s own took a true direction on his fourth studio effort.
In doing so, he created his best body of work to date.