Mr. Wale Folarin has dropped another beautiful album. This is the fourth album from this artist. click here for a review of his previous album. It features a few good artists. The album about nothing should not be confused with his breakout mixtape about nothing which dropped in 2008. The title of this album is in homage to Seinfeld which was referred to as the show about nothing because there was no end goal for the characters and stories were sometimes unconnected. The major difference between the mixtape and this is that while he had to use clips from the show on the mixtape, the album has Jerry Seinfeld live in the studio dropping words of wisdom (sometimes) to introduce the tracks.
The intro about nothing
This here track has the usual wale instrumental on it. The fingers snapping, tambourine and the keyboard mainly reminiscent of the DMV go-go sound which he used when he first started. Also, the flow he uses here is that churchy flow. The song talks about him being stressed about so many things. The churchy flow like we mentioned before with the rhyming of consonant sounds. The song didn’t have a very vivid imagery neither was it accessible.
The helium balloon
Here wale uses the balloon to describe artists in general and the listeners as the strings tied to dem balloons. The rapper talks about how the string can be a fan and a proverbial hater at the same time. “They like you stuck with us, don’t let him fly…” “.. Cos the same hand held you might cut you… “. He should know that the fans are a necessary evil tho. Without fans he’s not a musician, he can as well be a bathroom musician like every other Jon.
The white shoes
This track talks about flossing at whatever cost; wearing the best, sneakers in this case. “Say we can’t always be fly but we gon be good as long as we sneaker wise. “ the right flow with reasonable content. We see him rhyming consonant sounds here again.
The pessimist ft. J.Cole
The word hopeless kept on coming up and here’s why. The talks about a context where one is molded to build sturdy hope on a day to day meanwhile this hope can’t pay the bills so it’s rather useless. So why be so hopeful. Hopefully, this is what Wale meant to share. J. Cole did well on the hook and the song carries weight content wise. Mature content. Quite accessible with reasonably vivid imagery.
The middle finger
This track centers on all the unnecessary publicity stunts being pulled in the music industry and how he’s usually not interested in all that. Fuck you, leave me alone… His words not mine. Sincere lyrics.
The one time in Houston
This is a supposed love song. Love these days is all shades of fucked up btw. We hear wale here talking about how he loves and isn’t loved right back.
The girls on drugs
Almost self-explanatory. It talks about our generation now really. Drugs and alcohol. The ‘turn up’ generation. With specific fingers been pointed to the females “girls on drugs they still need love“. “Let me tell you about the women I’ve been chilling with… she ain’t shy when the liquor spill.. “ he describes the lot of them as void until filled with drugs. Real content and is quite accessible. Wonderful imagery portrayed here too
The God smile
Briefly talks about how the hustle gon pay one day and Wale and his “niggas” will be are the top of the game. We see the same creative play with consonants here “girls kissing me all out, Christian dior’d out“. . More importantly he’s saying hard work pays. “Cos this game aint based on sympathy.”
The need to know Ft SZA
Cool track right here. Sza did me proud here. She managed the hook properly. Wale comes in to show us that rapping aint bout anger and mic wetting sessions. Smooth flow, wonderful delivery and lovely concept for a song. The song takes its concept from the way most long lasting relationships stay that way, keep on the low as much as possible. I’m no Dr Phil but Ladi knows it works
This song talks about the hustle and how it distinguishes him from the rest. The song talks about how people are pushed to do wrong all to survive yo! Nothing more.
The glass egg
“My newest of hobbies, collecting calls…. “. We’ve been seeing the consonant rhyme kinda rap since the beginning of this album and this song isn’t lacking. This song majorly talks about friends keeping friends and staying true cos real friends are quite valuable. “Although beautiful matrimony is a rap of balancing your women, your riches and at least half your hommies.”
The next three songs all talk about women and they are all beautiful songs. If arranged right they kinda tell a story
The body ft. Jeremih
This is the courtship stage. Awesome track that appreciates the woman’s body by comparing to cars and stuff. Jeremih probably entered the studio with a machete that day like I’m gonna murda this track with his rendition of R.Kelly’s you remind me of something. “..You can tell I’m outta line like DUI.”
The bloom (Ambitious Girls 3)
This song describes the “meet my parents phase”.
The matrimony ft. Usher
The matrimony is the marriage stage. Engagement in sight and stuff. So he describes how he feels about weddings and promises a “happily ever after”.
Ladi: The album about nothing features Jerry Seinfeld in these skits that were pretty fun to listen to. Plus we see the usual Wale on here as the smooth and suave nigga. Compared to the last album this album is less playful with a lot of precise and mature content. The collaborations were bomb too. Wonderful stuff.
Ladi gives it b-
Slklouis: This album sees Wale scrapping the formula of his recent albums and going back to the beginning to reconnect with his core fan base. He does this by cutting down on the club anthems, dialing back the thug talk, bringing back the go0go sound, getting more introspective and cutting out the unnecessary features. The Seinfeld intros became annoying to me at some point and it started to look like Wale was trying to force the song to fit the skit even where they had no business been with one another.
The inconsistency in tone of this album can be forgiven cos this is the album about nothing. Also, Wale is famous for his need for acceptance from others and this album is peppered with instances of him trying to find out why he isn’t as accepted as he thinks he should be. Even when he seems to say that he doesn’t seem to care what people think about him (e.g. The Middle Finger), he forgets that stance by the time the next track comes around. While this distracted me from really enjoying the album at times, I have gotten so used to it by now that it didn’t really matter in the end, I’ll have to agree with Ladi’s rating of B-.