Wale’s Latest Project Fails to Impress
Album About Nothing Does Just That for Listeners . . . Nothing
Wale has always been a point of contention among hip-hop fans. Some call him the patron saint of DC, while others find him meandering.
That last group would probably say Wale’s The Mixtape About Nothing was his last worthwhile release. Unfortunately, The Album About Nothing (TAAN) feels like a rehash of what was once a solid idea.
Wale is definitely a talented rapper. His style is versatile. Tracks like “The One Time in Houston” show his range and “The Intro About Nothing” is a testament to his ability to create worthwhile bars.
That being said TAAN is in a word, boring.
Wale has yet to find his identity and four albums in, you’d think he’d have something interesting to say. Then again, maybe the titling of this album wasn’t tongue in cheek.
It’s interesting to hear the “Seinfeld” snippets and some are actually pretty cool, but they don’t really add much to the album. Sure there are a few connecting themes, but in several instances, the mostly comedic phrasing clashes with the song that follows it.
Take for example “The Pessimist” featuring J. Cole. The Hammond organ backed track starts off with a quote from Jason Alexander’s George Costanza dreaming to mimic the attractiveness of indifference through hopelessness. A classic line, but when paired with the very serious tone of “The Pessimist” the message seems sloppy.
On the other hand, songs like “The Matrimony” featuring Usher and “The Helium Balloon” feel like they were made specifically to fit that ultra rare “Seinfeld” quote. In fact, the latter track features audio drops and echoed sentences – all of which comes off incredibly forced.
There are some other interesting features throughout. SZA pops up on “The Need to Know” for a haunting ballad where Wale falls into a familiar and comfortable space. And the always-entertaining Jeremih provides the predictable R&B hook on the first single “The Body”.
Wale has yet to find his identity and four albums in, you’d think he’d have something interesting to say. Then again, maybe the titling of this album wasn’t tongue in cheek – if feeling nothing after the last song was its purpose, mission accomplished.