For those of you that know me, you will know I am a long-standing Wale fan.
Long-standing might be putting it mildly considering the way I dish out side eyes to anyone that states his MMG group produced albums are “like his best albums ever”. Ugh.
Don’t get me wrong, I certainly think Ambition and The Gifted were good, but his latest: The Album About Nothing…now that right there is greatness.
After poorly received Christmas special Festivus didn’t grab me the way I thought it would, I was feeling a lil unsure of how I would be pulled out of this musical slump.
Then March 31st arrived and bam! Wale done did it.
The album is reminiscent of his early mixtape releases. The sampling (shoutout to Jerry Seinfeld), claps, and DMV style that Wale is synonymous for is everything we’ve needed from the emcee over the last year or so.
I was particularly ecstatic about the way this album made me feel like Wale’s talents are just SO underrated. Like you know when something so fresh is put on the table and you’re just like how have I been living without this?! (…also considering 2014 was the year of non-releases music-wise, timing
was is everything).
His lyricism remains unmatched and Wale just has a way with pairing this very well with unique vocals that you might not expect.
You can check the additional vocals on a number of tracks by the likes of Magazeen, Dwele and Chrisette Michele (My favourite was on The Helium Balloon).
He also manages to self-reference in a way that lies perfectly on the spectrum of outright self-absorbed and just cocky enough for you to be like ‘I see what you did there and I like it’ (try see if you find it in The Pessimist).
The album has been reported as his most personal one to date, and I can see why. It’s honest, self-reflexive and a much needed backtrack to a blunt-blowin’ session that gives you all the feels about the daily toils of human life: Relationships, Frenemies and all the other bs (see The Middle Finger, The One Time in Houston, and The Glass Egg).
The album has guest appearances by J.Cole, SZA, Jeremih and Usher.
On that note, I must commend the way The Matrimony sees a very honest Wale speaking about the one big life sentence (every) rapper tries to avoid.
Seinfeld jokingly attributes it to one big rollercoaster ride, which isn’t very far off for most relationships right?
Sharrats to RnB king Usher for the smooth reminder that sometimes guys ‘make plans’ that are reserved just for that one and to Wale for being so truthful about the fears that go alongside this.
Standout tracks for me were The White Shoes, The Pessimist, The Girls on Drugs, The God Smile and possibly my favourite is The Need To Know ft SZA.
Something about that sultry voice and Musiq Soulchild Sample I suppose.
The album debuted at number 1 on the US Billboard 200 chart and Wale has plenty to be proud of.
All in all, it’s trip down memory lane and a solid statement for the future that the self-proclaimed Maybach Music Genius is here to stay.
If you haven’t already, have a listen to the album (available at all good retailers and available for download on iTunes) and let me know what you think of Mr Folarin’s latest work.