Published Apr 22, 2015In 2013, Wale announced that, in collaboration with Jerry Seinfeld, he'd be crafting a follow-up album based on a 2008 mixtape titled, The Mixtape About Nothing. Seinfeld, the show about nothing and also clandestine life lessons, served as the inspiration for the mixtape and has once again leant itself to serve as the Maybach Music Group artist's inspiration for The Album About Nothing.
With Jerry Seinfeld leading the pace of Wale's carefully crafted tales, the artist, once discovered for his honesty and sociopolitical triple entendres, makes an effortless return to his own truths throughout — but it wasn't an easy journey. Finding balance and being a black man in America are two distinct themes identified on The Album About Nothing, all of which Wale is still coming to terms with.
"I'm still trying to iron everything out right now to be honest," the Washington, DC-based rapper tells Exclaim! "I'm just trying to find [balance] right now. It's hard to let a message stick unless you're a super duper pop star, and the super duper pop stars don't normally have anything to say. The issues that we're dealing as a society, as black people... I feel like in the past I made my messages more hidden, and now they're more blatant like 'The White Shoes' and 'The Girls on Drugs.' I'm just trying to see how it resonates with the culture and see what happens now."
After selling over 100,000 copies in its first week and debuting at No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard 200, The Album About Nothing fulfilled all of Jerry's expectations.
"He told me he loved it," Wale says. "I was a little disappointed it didn't sell what the last album sold first week, but Jerry was ecstatic about it. He couldn't be prouder. That's a person who doesn't know about sales or music business or anything, he's just proud that he could be a part of it. He went up and turned up and did a couple interviews the day he found out it was No. 1 and he's just ecstatic. He's happy about it, I can't complain."
Does Wale think he's silenced the critics with this album?
"No," he says firmly. "Every interview, they tell me I'm underrated and slept on, every single one. And it's not y'all fault because that's what's happening. I'd rather y'all say it than me, but the day that that doesn't happen, I'll know I've covered ground. But as of now, we're on the 20-something interview in a row when they're telling me I'm underrated or slept on, so I know it's happening. It's very visible, so hopefully one day I can put that to bed."
Wale went on to reveal he's currently putting together a tour for the album that "makes sense," he also candidly says, "I'm always working, who knows what will happen? Now you gotta sneak up on people, anyway."
Is that a sign for a possible surprise follow-up album in the future? "Absolutely."