The show “Seinfeld” may be about nothing, but Wale has given Larry David’s creation a new meaning in hip-hop. The MMG spitter has been pushing his obvious obsession with the New York-based sit-com onto us since his mixtape days. But this time around, Wale took the underlying life lessons we learned from Jerry, George, Elaine and Kramer and used them to tell us about the struggles he’s been going through as of late.
The entire album is like the hip-hop version of the ’90s show. The intro somewhat reminiscent of Seinfeld’s stand-up that opens each episode. While there’s no comedic motivation here, Wale opens the album by speaking about his feelings about the world around him before he gets into the gritty details of his life story. In songs like “The Pessimist” featuring J. Cole and “The One Time In Houston,” Wale establishes common grounds by using situations from the show, like George’s views on hopelessness or Jerry and Elaine’s stance on selective friendship, and made them reflect things that have happened in his life.
After spending plenty of time with the comedian in the studio, it seems like Wale made some of his songs based on the clever advice Jerry gave him about life. In “The Matrimony” featuring Usher, we catch Seinfeld and Wale discuss marriage, which leads to Wale rapping about how his past relationships have made him an unfit boyfriend. In the DJ Dahi & Sonny Digital-produced “The Helium Balloon,” Seinfeld made his own analogy that spawned deeply-rooted verses from the DC emcee about what “the helium balloon” means to him.
What sticks out about the album is that there are limited major producers and no influence from his Maybach Music imprint. Unlike his previous releases, there are only a couple tracks like “The Body” featuring Jeremih and “The Girls On Drugs” that are radio-friendly. Wale completely disregarded the mainstream and focused on something he should of fixated on long ago: himself.
Wale’s previous claims of depression and anger are evident in this body of work. My team at WatchLOUD and I have agreed before that artists create their best work while going through the worst of times. After spending some time with this album, it was almost as if his problems became my problems. His song “The Middle Finger” is more than just the typical “Fuck You” song. It’s a grimy reminder that Wale is well aware of what his haters think of him and he doesn’t care. He just demands the respect he deserves.
“Seinfeld” continues to be a classic sit-com that has left an ever-lasting impression on the world of entertainment. By using this motif once again, Wale set out to make one of his best albums thus far, and he succeeded. Let it be known that it wasn’t because of his features or the major label. The Album About Nothing is his greatest because he put his mind and soul into 14 songs that not only embraced his favorite TV show, but it told us stories about every emotion he has ever felt. And that is definitely something.