Wale’s whole career has been building up to this moment. It’s similar to main eventing WrestleMania. For years, Wale’s love for Seinfeld spilled over into his career. Two themed mixtapes would help him become a popular artist among a catalog that also consists of three albums, three compilations with the MMG crew, and many more tapes. This idea of Seinfeld-inspired music has finally transpired into The Album About Nothing. What makes this unique is Jerry Seinfeld’s actual involvement as narrator throughout the album, and the fact that this is Wale’s most personal body of work yet.
It’s refreshing to have Jerry’s voice pop up at random times. Whether it’s a soundbite from the show, or he’s actually talking to/about Wale. His conversation on “The Matrimony” about marriage is a gem (Usher’s hook is the best musical contribution he’s given us in a long time as well). “The Need To Know” houses one of my all time favorite episodes of Seinfeld (“The Deal”): the awkwardly hilarious talk of becoming friends with benefit between Jerry and Elaine.
When it comes down to being personal, Wale is able to do so without stepping into any other artist’s territory. You’re not going to get any Drake-esque or Earl-like rhymes about his life. He’s not indulging personal names, but rather just a series of events. There’s no super dark vibes resonating from TAAN. The Ayydot-produced “The Glass Egg” is the perfect analogy for balance as an artist. There’s so many things to juggle, and, unfortunately, not everything can survive. Money, women, friends, etc. An egg itself is already a fragile thing, but making it glass just increases the danger, which is adding in the rapper factor.
Another interesting metaphor is found on “The Helium Balloon.” Wale is the balloon who connects to his fans. They grab on to the string and absorb what he says through his music. This string grows as his popularity soars. It comes to a point where the fan must let go allowing Wale to become a mainstream success, or attempt to contain him from his destiny by continuing to hold on.
The Album About Nothing is essentially a season of Seinfeld through the eyes of Wale’s life in audio form. Much like a TV series, every song has a subject matter that tends to work as a cohesive effort toward the bigger picture. We’re witnessing a growth in character from him. If everyone is saying Kendrick or Drake has the world title, Wale swooped in for the Intercontinental title. And it means something. He brings back prestige to the belt. Wale achieved his vision. The Album About Nothing is his best album to date.
Stream the album, and watch Reese and I discuss the album below.