Monday, June 2, 2008

A quick listen...

What’s the deal with Wale’s “Mixtape About Nothing?” Well, whether you’re pretty new to this DMV cat (like me), or you’ve been listening since he started getting radio play back in ’04, Wale’s latest mixtape endeavor should have you giggin’ from the go (or should it be go-go?): sick flow, sick beats, and a whole lot more.
Besides the cover art, besides all the clips sprinkled throughout, besides the many mentions of characters from the popular show in his lyrics, there’s this: all the track titles begin with “The” (just like almost all 175 episodes of the series). Of course, Wale ain’t trying to be all sneaky like Newman with the Seinfeld parallels, but just to be sure you get it, he explains it all right off the top.
“The Opening Title Sequence,” is set to the recognizable theme from the famous “show about nothing.” It may just be the intro, but this isn’t any throwaway track by any means as he deftly reflects on the current state of hip hop and other various things important to him. And just like Jerry Seinfeld’s standup, just about every line begins same: “What’s the deal with the Nets though/Like being in the East ain’t enough help for ‘em/ Two Carters, I thought it’d get better for ‘em /but they getting rid of Kidd, like a miscarriage.”)
Ain’t no shrinkage as we move along either! After reminding us how dope he was on “Rising Up” (“Real rappers ain’t eatin’/they Olsen Twin it,” filthy!!!) and giving us “The Feature Heavy Song” (it’s just that with Bun B, Pusha T and Tre), Wale get’s serious on us: “The Perfect Plan” was a pretty funny bit on Seinfeld, but this song is anything but. Not only is he blaming us fans for the plight of hip hop sales (a fare charge), it also seems like he’s raising some conspiracy theory about a plot to put an end to the art form - this song is worth a couple listens!
The same could be said about “The Kramer.” This could be Wale’s best effort of the album. Anyone who doesn’t remember the recent controversy with Michael Richards (doesn’t deserve a link here) gets reminded off the top. A lot of rappers have flowed about using the n-word, but none quite like this. The more important word in relation to this track is “deep”… you have to peep.
Skipping ahead (I ain’t trying to write a novel here), the combination of Wale’s slick delivery and one of Best Kept Secret’s best efforts behind the boards, “The Manipulation” is an interesting concept. Whether whispering into the ear of his woman, or acting “manly” in front of his bitch, Wale takes us through the different ways cats treat women, ultimately putting it on the lady for which one she chooses. “The Artistic Integrity” takes rappers to task for changing after they get a little success and proceeds to question the assorted classifications given to rappers by the media. And anyone who’s ever listened to a mixtape and thought: “Again?” needs to listen to “The Cliché Lil Wayne Feature (It’s the Remix Baby!)”
Bottom line: while Wale’s lyrics are the main attraction on this Seinfeld stroll, Best Kept Secret’s production - 12 of the 19 tracks - is like the George Castanza of this shit and keeps you nodding. With most mixtapes there are at least a few tracks that feel like they should’ve been left on the cutting room floor, but I can’t name one here. And if all that isn’t enough to get you interested, it’s also free! Wale’s “Mixtape About Nothing” is anything but, and listening to it is like a Festivus for the rest of us. So cop it, or it’s no more soup for you!


Benny B said...

Zzzzz, Zzzzzz, was that your dissertation? Benny started to fall asleep in the middle. "Bitch pick tha right mafucka"...

catch91 said...

Benny should just worry about his problem with writing in 3rd person! Foo.