The Album About Nothing

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The Album About Nothing
The album about nothing.jpg
Studio album by Wale
Released March 31, 2015[1][2]
Recorded 2013–15
Genre Hip hop
Length 60:04
Label
Producer
Wale chronology
The Gifted
(2013)The Gifted2013
The Album About Nothing
(2015)
Shine
(2017)Shine2017
Alternative cover
Alternate cover
Alternate cover
Physical cover
Physical cover
Singles from The Album About Nothing
  1. "The Body"
    Released: September 9, 2014
  2. "The Matrimony"
    Released: March 2, 2015

The Album About Nothing is the fourth studio album by American rapper Wale. It was released on March 31, 2015, by Maybach Music Group and Atlantic Records. Recording sessions took place between 2013 and 2015. The album serves as a continuation of Wale's Seinfeld-themed mixtape series. The album was supported by two singles: "The Body" featuring Jeremih, and "The Matrimony" featuring Usher. The Album About Nothing received generally positive reviews from music critics. The album debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200, selling 88,000 copies in its first week.

Background[edit]

In January 2013, it was reported Wale was working on a new album, titled The Album About Nothing with Jerry Seinfeld. Seinfeld spoke about how the collaboration came to be, saying: "Wale called me, came to my show and we hung out a little bit. He wanted me to do something with him. I didn't understand it, but he did and then I kind of liked the guy, I dug the guy, and I listened to his music, I liked the music. So I said alright, I'll do it, even though I didn't know what I was going to do. So I said to my wife, 'I'm doing this thing with this guy Wale' and she said, 'Wale is my favorite Hip Hop artist. I have every single thing.' Somehow, she missed anything that had to do with me, but has every other cut, everything else he's done. I said just type in Wale and me and see what comes up."[3]

In September 2014, Wale spoke about how Seinfeld inspired the album, saying:

"I was a big fan of Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld. I watched the show a lot. So I did a Mixtape About Nothing in 2007. I just poked a lot of fun at society and the industry ‘cause what was hot at the time was ‘snap your fingers’ and all that. So I had an interesting perspective on the industry. Basically I just ran with that, I did a Mixtape About Nothing and I used a lot of dialogue from Seinfeld. And then, 2010, you know, by this point I’m signed to Interscope and I have a different perspective on things and I did the More About Nothing mixtape. I used more dialogue from Seinfeld. Now, we’re here in 2014, I’m using a lot of personal things and things that are going on in my life now as well as exclusive content from Jerry Seinfeld and a little bit of the show."[4]

In January 2015, Wale spoke about how it is his most personal album, saying: "It's super personal. It's like a journal that my whole lifestyle is based around. Before, with my music, I was like the point guard with all the handles. Now I'm just taking it straight to the cup. I'm not moon walking to get from point A to point B. I'm running from point A and through point B. You guys are going to hear what I'm saying. I'm going to be as transparent as I can be."[5] He also spoke about Jerry Seinfeld's role on the album, saying: "He's the narrator. He's essentially like my conscience. You can look at him as kind of explaining what's happening if you get lost during the story. He'll come in and give you an update."[5]

Singles[edit]

"The Body" featuring Jeremih, was released as the album's lead single on September 9, 2014.[6] On December 28, 2014, the music video was released for "The Body".[7] "The Matrimony" featuring Usher, was released as the album's second single on March 2, 2015.[8] The music video for "The Matrimony" premiered on June 8, 2015.[9]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic 66/100[10]
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 3.5/5 stars[11]
Billboard 3.5/5 stars[12]
Complex 3.5/5 stars[13]
Consequence of Sound C[14]
Exclaim! 8/10[15]
HipHopDX 3/5 stars[16]
Pitchfork Media 5.4/10[17]
Rolling Stone 3.5/5 stars[18]
XXL 4/5 (XL)[19]

The Album About Nothing has received generally positive reviews from critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from critics, the album received an average score of 66, which indicates "generally favorable reviews", based on 9 reviews.[10] Julian Kimble of Billboard said, "The Album About Nothing is his most personal piece of work to date, and also his best. That hair-trigger sensitivity can be off-putting, but it's also what makes him good at what he does. Wale will likely never find his sanity where he finds his glory, but he should at least find solace in knowing that, with all eyes on him, he delivered not only his strongest album, but the one which will define his career."[12] Erin Lowers of Exclaim! wrote that the record is a "refreshing transparency of Wale's internal thoughts and future plans," further noting that "Wale's confidence shines through; rather than trying to live in his past or live up to his star-studded MMG cohorts, he's sincere and unapologetic here."[15] Miranda J. of XXL gave the album an XL, saying "The Album About Nothing may be one of Wale’s best efforts to date. With mostly positive vibes built off a period negative experiences—Wale said in a recent interview he was depressed for much of the time he was crafting the album—it also causes one to wonder if Wale has to come into a new chapter along with the material. Seinfeld’s appearances are all appreciated and complement the material. Although there were some skepticism about the two joining together at first, after giving this album an invested living, it wouldn’t be a bad thing if Wale and Seinfeld were to hook up on a project once more."[19]

Marcus Dowling of HipHopDX said, "On The Album About Nothing, Wale audaciously attempted to once again create poignant social commentary via combining his takes on his existence with those of Jerry Seinfeld doing the same. When Wale showcases his growth in being able to link his classic skillset with modern content, the album unequivocally succeeds. However, in attempting to placate current mainstream tastes, he falls short of the album being the unique and iconic success of the mixtape that truly launched his career to another level five years ago."[16]

Commercial performance[edit]

The album debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200, with 100,245 album-equivalent units; the album sold 88,210 copies in its first week.[20] As of May 2015, the album has sold 138,000 copies domestically.[21]

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. "The Intro About Nothing"
  • J Gramm
  • Rex Kudo
4:20
2. "The Helium Balloon" 4:47
3. "The White Shoes"
Pro Reese 4:30
4. "The Pessimist" (featuring J. Cole)
Nwaneri 4:32
5. "The Middle Finger"
  • Akintimehin
  • Natche
  • Dave Bayley
  • DJ Dahi
  • Dave Glass Animals
4:00
6. "The One Time in Houston"
Pro Reese 5:47
7. "The Girls on Drugs"
No Credit 4:09
8. "The God Smile"
  • Akintimehin
  • Natche
DJ Dahi 5:16
9. "The Need to Know" (featuring SZA) J Gramm 3:36
10. "The Success" Jake One 2:57
11. "The Glass Egg"
Ayy Dot 4:47
12. "The Bloom (AG3)"
5:22
13. "The Matrimony" (featuring Usher)
6:35
14. "The Body" (featuring Jeremih)
Soundz 3:52

Notes

  • "The Intro About Nothing" contains additional vocals performed by Rex Kudo, Sabrina Sanchez, Idan Kalai, Stokley Williams and Tony Williams
  • "The Helium Balloon" contains additional vocals performed by Magazeen
  • "The White Shoes" contains additional vocals performed by Dwele
  • "The One Time In Houston" contains additional vocals performed by Phil Ade
  • "The Glass Egg" contains additional vocals performed by Chrisette Michele[22]
  • "The Bloom (AG3)" contains additional vocals performed by Stokley Williams

Personnel[edit]

Credits for The Album About Nothing adapted from the liner notes.[23]

  • A&R: Brock Korsan, Dallas Martin
  • A&R Operations and Administration: Lanre Gaba
  • Marketing: Shari Bryant (SVP), Claudia Rezir (Coordinator)
  • Business and Legal Affairs: Margo Scott (Atlantic)
  • Sample Clearances: Danny Zook and Ron Cabihes (Alien Music Services)
  • Management: Leonard Brooks (77 North Management LLC and Todd M Management LLC)
  • Legal: Damien Granderson (Davis, Shapiro, Lewit, Grabel, Leven, Granderson & Blake, LLP)
  • Business Management: Craig Brown (Nigro, Karlin, Segal, Feldstein, Bolno)
  • Art Direction and Design: Mike Bully (Good Bully, LLC)
  • Packaging Production: Michelle Piza

Charts[edit]

Chart (2015) Peak
position
US Billboard 200[24] 1
US Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums (Billboard)[25] 1
US Top Rap Albums (Billboard)[26] 1

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Rick Ross Confirms Wale's 'The Album About Nothing' Will Be Released on March 31". Billboard. Retrieved 2015-03-12. 
  2. ^ "iTunes - Music - The Album About Nothing by Wale". itunes.apple.com. 2015-03-31. Retrieved 2015-04-04. 
  3. ^ StevenHorowitz (2013-01-18). "Wale Reportedly Working With Jerry Seinfeld On "The Album About Nothing" | Get The Latest Hip Hop News, Rap News & Hip Hop Album Sales". HipHopDX. Retrieved 2015-03-12. 
  4. ^ Balfour, Jay (2014-09-15). "Wale Speaks On "Album About Nothing," Resolving Meek Mill Beef | Get The Latest Hip Hop News, Rap News & Hip Hop Album Sales". HipHopDX. Retrieved 2015-03-12. 
  5. ^ a b "Wale talks 'The Album About Nothing,' ties to Cleveland and his friendship with Jerry Seinfeld". cleveland.com. Retrieved 2015-03-12. 
  6. ^ Submit Comment (2014-09-09). "Wale f. Jeremih - The Body | New Hip Hop Music & All The New Rap Songs 2014". HipHopDX. Retrieved 2015-03-12. 
  7. ^ Pratt, Sparkle (2014-12-29). "Wale f. Jeremih - "The Body" | Watch Hip Hop Music Videos & New Rap Videos". HipHopDX. Retrieved 2015-03-12. 
  8. ^ "iTunes Store". itunes.apple.com. Retrieved 2015-03-12. 
  9. ^ "Video: Wale feat. Usher – 'The Matrimony'". Rap-Up. June 8, 2015. Retrieved March 2, 2016. 
  10. ^ a b "Reviews for The Album About Nothing by Wale". Metacritic. 2015-03-31. Retrieved 2015-04-04. 
  11. ^ Jeffries, David (2015-03-15). "Wale - The Album About Nothing". AllMusic. Retrieved 2015-03-15. 
  12. ^ a b "Album Review: 'The Album About Nothing' Is Wale's Most Personal and Best Work". Billboard. Retrieved 2015-04-04. 
  13. ^ Ortiz, Edwin (2015-03-31). "Review: Wale 'The Album About Nothing'". Complex. Retrieved 2015-04-04. 
  14. ^ Freed, Nick (2015-03-31). "Wale – The Album About Nothing". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved 2015-04-08. 
  15. ^ a b Lowers, Erin (2015-03-31). "Wale The Album About Nothing". Exclaim.ca. Retrieved 2015-04-04. 
  16. ^ a b Dowling, Marcus. "Wale - The Album About Nothing". HipHopDX. Retrieved 2015-04-04. 
  17. ^ "Wale: The Album About Nothing". Pitchfork. Retrieved 2015-04-04. 
  18. ^ Murray, Nick (2015-04-21). "Wale's New Album: The Album About Nothing". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2015-05-09. 
  19. ^ a b Miranda J. (2015-04-03). "Wale Finds New Meaning in Old Material on 'The Album About Nothing'". Xxlmag.com. Retrieved 2015-04-08. 
  20. ^ Balfour, Jay. "Hip Hop Album Sales: Wale, Ludacris & Kendrick Lamar". HipHopDX. Retrieved 2015-04-08. 
  21. ^ Smith, Trevor (May 2, 2015). "Charts Don't Lie: May 2nd". HotNewHipHop. Retrieved May 2, 2015. <
  22. ^ "chrisette michele on Twitter: "@Wale: Ms Chrisette Michele RT @KiingOcho: @wale that's Miss Heron on The Glass Egg?" Always a good time w/this guy. (U still owe me a tat)"". Twitter.com. Retrieved 2016-03-02. 
  23. ^ The Album About Nothing (liner notes). Wale. Maybach. Atlantic. 2015. 2-548429. 
  24. ^ "Wale Album & Song Chart History". Billboard 200 for Wale. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved November 16, 2011. 
  25. ^ "Wale Album & Song Chart History". Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved November 16, 2011. 
  26. ^ "Wale Album & Song Chart History". Billboard Top Rap Albums for Wale. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved November 16, 2011.