Recap : “Hot 97’s Listening Session with Wale”

Wale’s latest album “The Album About Nothing” released Tuesday March 31, 2015. In addition to his latest release, the D.C. rapper had a two week promo tour with its last stop in New York CIty. At midnight on Tuesday, Wale shutdown soho’s SOBS, joined with rapper J. Cole for a free pop-up show introducing his album. The saga didn’t end there; hours later Wale had an interview with Power 105.1’s “The Breakfast Club” , another ‘secret’ show at IHeart Radio, a listening session / Q&A with Hot 97 and wrapped his Tuesday night with a release party at meatpacking’s Cielo. Can we say “Turning up on a Tuesday?!”

      Hot.97’s listening session gave his fans the intimacy they wanted with a q/a. Wale explained the magic behind his album, with inspiration from the 90’s sitcom Seinfeld. Jerry Seinfield and Wale appear on the album; Jerry wearing a pair of Jordan 7’s accompanied by Wale wearing a pair of Jordan 4’s , representing his fourth album. (Also worn for his first magazine cover) Tuesday evening, Wale came in the listening session with his blue wrestling belt, after attending the past weekend’s Wrestle Mania event in California. Who knew the rapper loved wrestling since he was a kid!

The Album About Nothing” is an irony within itself. “There’s a record for every motion” says Wale. During the listening session hosted by Ebro and Peter Rosenberg, Wale connected with fans on songs like “The Matrimony”, “The One Time In Houston”, “The Pessimist”, “The Need To Know” and “GodSmile”. As each of the different records were played, a wave of emotion was seen from the rapper, matching the song. Not to mention the highlight of the night, having a personal ‘Blunt Girl’. Sadly the crowd didn’t get a chance to question how one would apply to his current version of mogul P.Diddy’s ‘Fordsworth Bently’, maybe next time.

“The One Time In Houston” automatically made the listeners feel like they were having that one time in Houston too. The song actually was inspired from Wale’s ‘one time in Houston‘; being picked up from the airport, then going straight to the club and being completely FUCKED UP! He said the moment was too good to not do a song about.

After 3 hours of a life speech from rapper/friend J.Cole, they collaborated on “The Pessimist”. The track had been written about a 1 1/2 year ago during the Zimmerman trials, the sad irony with that is nothing has changed in a country still killing the innocent. The song goes over the injustices America will always face based on the color of one skin. ‘If a nigga kill a nigga he’s another statistic
If his skin’s a little different they gon’ say it was self defense

The only song Wale didn’t want to talk much about was “Matrimony”. This song showed the realism of relationships, with its roller coaster similarities. It was interesting to see the rapper emotional; hat pulled low, head hung low too as the lyrics played, bringing him back to his dark place of losing his unborn child. Guess that’s why he didn’t want to play the song that night.

My personal favorite, non-stop on replay “The Need To Know” featuring SZA.  The song’s hook is that of Music Soulchild’s “Just Friends” inspired by Jerry and Elaine’s conversation on an episode of Seinfield, just ‘blacked up‘. Why can’t friends be lovers? There’s always going to be that stigma society has to deem on who we can be intimate with.  Sza’s voice really is too sultry on this track.

Wale’s favorite song on the album about nothing is “Godsmile”. The song initiates a feeling in him . Just a good song, with good energy all around it! The Listening session ended with a group photo with the rapper, listeners and his wrestling belt. 


Author: Tiy Hampton

20 something year old New Yorker, that will make a difference. Open minded, talkative, only child. Shopping, traveling and food are my favorite. God first. I do radio, I model, I write, I report on events and conduct interviews. I believe you must do what you love in order to truly live. #ForTheLove

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