Review: Wale’s Album About Nothing covers everything

By on April 13, 2015

By: Matthew Shircliffe

With poppy beats and introspective rhymes, D.C. bred, Wale Folarin has returned with his long awaited album, The Album About Nothing, marking his fourth LP that released Tuesday, March 31st.

This has been in the works for quite some time now as it has finally arrived. It was well worth the wait, as he shines brighter than ever, delivering potentially his best project, in his young, decorated career.

Wale provides us with a sweet taste of nostalgia with classic Seinfeld samples, layered by Jerry Seinfeld himself, spewing words of wisdom all throughout the album. We are blessed with the reminiscent, social commentary on relationships by the iconic Seinfeld characters themselves.

It also felt invigorating as Wale rehashes what escalated the start of his career from the days of his early mixtapes, The Mixtape About Nothing, and More About Nothing.

With top-tier features including long-time collaborator, J. Cole who worked on previous hits with Wale, such as Bad Girls Club and Beautiful Bliss, legends such Kanye West and Usher, followed by appearances from Jeremih and SZA, Wale rallied an ensemble of artists that gave the album the fire and soul it needed.

On The Intro About Nothing, the album starts off with light piano keys and uplifting background vocals that are choir-like, followed by amusing bars, as Wale raps, “If life is short then we’ll be the shorts of the Fab Five”.

On the second track, The Helium Balloon, this starts off with Seinfeld comparing Wale to a helium balloon, conveying the message that his goal is to raise the spirit of the listener the way a balloon raises in the air once it is let go. We are also treated with a solid verse from Reggae artist,  Magazeen, which helped the song tremendously.

On more eye-opening cuts such as The Pessimist with J. Cole, Cole jumps on the hook singing, “Got no gas in my tank again, but it makes no difference to me. Overdraft at the bank again, but it makes no difference to me”, taking the point of view of someone that is facing financial instabilities, however, will not be fazed by the struggle, as he continues to pray for better days. Wale sticks with the pessimistic view, glazing over the media’s perception of the African-American community, cooking up possibly the best song off the album.

The Girls on Drugs, a track from his latest mixtape Festivus, sampled Janet Jackson’s 1998 smash-hit Go Deep. Wale turns up on the high-pitched, lighthearted instrumental. With a catchy hook, followed by an even stronger message, he tells about the women he has been with who have developed these bad habits, mentioning drugs such as xanax, adderall, and cocaine. At this point in his life now, he wants a girl that is clean of that lifestyle.

The God Smile, one of the better songs off the album, is produced by the talented and successful DJ Dahi. Wale provides his own raw form of singing, repeating the phrase “Lord shine your light on me, ” delivering an impeccable flow backed up by inspiring lyricism.

The Glass Egg, my personal favorite off TAAN, sheds light on the fame that Wale has obtained, not letting the lifestyle of the rich and the famous get to his head. He also raps about the people in his life who remained real and those who were there for their own personal gain leeching off of his success. He lays down the facts about maintaining relationships and his relevance. Chrisette Michelle also chimes in a few vocals of her own at the end.

The first two singles off TAAN appear near the latter half of the album. The first single, The Body, with Jeremih, is appealing production meshed with resounding vocals by Jeremih . The Matrimony, the second single, assisted by R&B legend, Usher, highlights his past relationships and looking ahead for his future spouse.

The final track off of the album is Summer League, a short yet distinguishable song, with guest features including Kanye West & Ty Dolla $ign. This is a feel-good Summer-time anthem that sits over well as the conclusion of the album.

TAAN displays struggle, success, failure and everything in between, as polished up lyrics, intricate storytelling, and stand-out production, push this album as the most complete venture Wale has set forth.

About Sam Draut

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *