“This is Not a Love Song”

My favorite album/mixtape of all time is entitled More About Nothing by Wale. The mixtape More About Nothing was released on August 2010 and that is when I became a huge Wale fan. I always listened to his songs when it came on the radio but I never went out my way to engage myself with his music. While relaxing at home in the summer of 2010 my friend texted me the following :”Yo Bro go listen to that Wale album” [sic]. So, like a real friend I ignored his text message and waited a week to go download Wale’s mixtape. More About Nothing really made me  appreciate Wale’s music and encouraged me to listen to more of his work to get to know his body of work.    wale folarinThe first thing that got my attention from the mixtape was the cover. The cover is interesting because the picture looks “normal” expect for the person at the end with dreads and baggy pants. In the picture you have the all white cast of Seinfeld and a black rapper from DC.

Seinfeld  influence is apparent on the mixtape because it features skits throughout every song and even with the title of the mixtape because Seinfeld show was the “show about othing.”  The influence that the show Seinfeld had on Wale is displayed in songs like “Friends and Strangers” and “Soup.” This mixtape was and still is a soundtrack to my life because you can hear the frustration in Wale’s voice about his failures in the industry and how he thrives to be successful. Today, I’m currently dealing with the struggle of tyring to mix work, life and school. But at the age of 16, when More About Nothing was released, I had a different connection to the mixtape because I could see myself living the same type of life he did.

Wale rapped about how he grew up in a urban environment but did not let the violence and lack of opportunity define him. Growing up I was the only person in my family who went to catholic school and one of the few in my neighborhood as well.  And, a lot of times you are caught between two different worlds and everyone having a certain perception about you so in a way you are misunderstood.The idea of  misunderstanding is showcased in this mixtape. For Wale it was being misunderstood because he wasn’t your typical urban rapper talking about violence or anything like that but he was making songs about being heartbroken and using Seinfield skits for comedy. In his earlier career, the majority of Wale fans were more urban and probably never even watched or heard of Seinfield. Wale  sense suffered from not being  able to truly identify (similar to the tragic mulatto?) with anyone. In one hand he wasn’t accepted from white community because he was the black, dread head, African, baggy jeans wearing kid from DC and other hand not truly embraced from the black urban community because he was more into watching Seinfield and talking about college problems then selling drugs or violence.  For example, in a line from the song “Black and Gold” Wale refers to himself as “Wale Ovechkin.” The lyric goes as follows :

Wale Ovechkin, the best on the earth, breath breath full of purp
A legend out here, and I’m ending careers by the end of my year
Two course when you mention my gear, lil lo” lo” lil showboat, nigga since Mo. Co.
Rosey for the hoes in the V.I, P-P.I, gotta do it more like T.I.

The verse alone shows his ability to engaged in both the black community and white community with his reference to the hockey player and Oveckin, the reference of Polo Ralph Lauren when he says “when you mention my gear, lil lo, lo”  and later continues to rap about “purp” which is marijuana and also mentions the popular rapper T.I. This is a great example of how Wale blends together two different crowds of people by mentioning an NHL player, Polo Ralph Lauren and mixes with urban culture by including an rapper and marijuana in the same verse.

With all that being said my favorite song on the mixtape is the “Break up Song.” The “Break up Song” is another example of music that can relate to everyone. Everyone has had a break up and felt extremely terrible about it. The music video is a great visual and based on the movie 500 days of Summer.The music video adds a background story for both of the “main” characters in the song. By doing so it lets the audience know a little bit about what might happen in the music video.. The song is also great because it gives the world a view of how a man might feel about a break up. A lot of times in movies, songs, poems and other forms of media the females heartbreaks or struggles is often displayed and not the man. “Break up Song” is a great song but personally I loved the original Seinfeld skit in the beginning of the track because it added a sense of humor in it that was lacked in the music video.

(p.s. this song made me watch 500 Days of Summer and that movie changed my life forever.

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One comment

  1. Great to see someone else appreciates Wale for his incredible lyricism as his lyrics get slept on a lot in hip hop unless he’s rapping over trap beats. Wale is an incredibly smart and talented hip hop artist and this song as well as More About Nothing clearly showcases his ability to put his heart into what he is rapping about as well as let what has influenced him throughout his life shine through. Wale does have a lot of songs about relationships, and though I don’t think they are his best lyrical songs out of his body of work they still hold an important part in who he is.

    PS: Can’t wait for his “Album About Nothing” coming out later this year.

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