Rapper Wale’s fifth studio album landed at No. 1 on the Billboard charts this week, knocking Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly off of the top spot and marking the second straight number one debut for the artist.
Wale’s secret to success this time around? Enlisting legendary funnyman Jerry Seinfeld for an Album about Nothing.
The artist told the Associated Press this week that he had long wanted to collaborate with Seinfeld after previously releasing two mixtapes inspired by the comedian, 2008’s Mixtape about Nothing and 2010’s More about Nothing.
But Wale could not find a way to get in touch with Seinfeld; that is, until he met the comedian’s wife Jessica, a cookbook author and an apparent rap connoisseur.
“She’s a big hip-hop fan and of my music,” Wale told the AP. “She was the middle man on a lot of things because Jerry is super busy. He’s not an easy person to reach. But she was able to put it all together.”
The finished product, released March 31 on EBM Music/Maybach/Atlantic Records, sold 100,000 equivalent album units in its first week in release, good enough for number one on the Billboard 200 chart. Wale’s previous full-length, The Gifted, also debuted at number one back in 2013.
The rapper and the comedian reportedly worked for two years together on the album. Seinfeld does not spit rhymes, but instead acts as the piece’s “narrator,” Wale told the AP.
“He laid the foundation of most of the songs, so in the concept of the album, he’s the other voice,” the artist explained.
Seinfeld’s voice can indeed be heard all throughout the album, including quotes from his hit 1990’s sitcom. On “The Pessimist (feat. J. Cole),” a snippet of the Seinfeld episode “The Fix-Up” is played, in which Jason Alexander’s George Costanza character can be heard telling Jerry, “I don’t want hope. Hope is killing me. My dream is to become hopeless.” Then Wale’s vocals crash onto the track.
“I liked his outlook on certain things,” Wale told the AP of working with Seinfeld. “He’s super smart. He’s a wise person that I can learn a lot from and knows about the entertainment business.”
Check out the first song off the album, “The Intro About Nothing,” below (Warning: Explicit Language):