Rapper Wale says he was actually “star struck” when he first met comedian Jerry Seinfeld. That feeling has passed, however, and now Wale and the comedian are good friends. Check out the videos they’ve made on YouTube as they exchange jokes — they’re hilarious and show just how quickly Wale can think on his feet. Wale, whose forthcoming The Album About Nothing pays homage to a famous Seinfeld episode in which Jerry and George tried to produce a TV show that was “about nothing,” says his new material will be “more refined and more personal.” The sexy single, “The Body,” is certainly catchy. Expect to hear it along with some 13 years of songs from the rapper’s catalog when Wale performs on Wednesday at House of Blues. Wale, who has a live band backing him up, spoke to us from a Philadelphia tour stop. He said the tour was simply “a pep rally for March 31,” the day his new album drops.
Your new album is called An Album About Nothing. Talk about the title.
It’s certainly a different sound for me. My biggest issue with people is that you want something different and then when you get something different, you are like why is this different. What would an artist be if he used the same colors. I’m the motherfucker trying to invent a new color and I’m trying to paint a ball of fruit on a spaceship on the moon. It’s not a different direction. It’s just a more refined and more personal album. This is a dark look into the darkest parts of my life. It’s about secret girlfriends that I hid. This one is just brutally positive. Sometimes, I need 15 minutes to myself.
Those conversations you have with Seinfeld are hilarious. Talk about them a bit. How is it that you have such great chemistry?I think it’s our sense of my humor. It’s the sarcasm Olympics. We try to out-sarcasm each other. He’s the master. I’m like the grasshopper learning. He’s a very smart guy. He’s not from my world, but I look up to him. He’s also always thinking of new jokes. He’s the best.
You met him after you made you made A Mixtape About Nothing? What was that like?
I was nervous. That’s when I had met a lot of people. I didn’t know what to say. I was kind of starstruck.
Talk about the first single “Body.”
I was around a lot of girls in the studio. That was the vibe. I just ran with it. I spend a lot of time talking about women and their minds but you can still walk around in their undergarments and it’s a good thing. We can talk about intelligence and you gotta let them know that you’re well balanced. When you’re that honest, it doesn’t matter if you’re making chick record. We live in a day and age where men behave like women. I’m into girls who introduce me to indie bands and stuff I wasn’t checking for at first. Men be worried what kind of jewelry they’re going to wear.
Go-go music was popular in the ‘60s and ‘70s but you grew up in the ’90s. How’d you discover the music?
I remember being on the school boy singing, “little Keisha got a big ole butt.” I lived uptown where the heart of go-go was brewing. I remember everyday everybody would make a go-go beat on the table. You can’t meet one nigga who wasn’t beating a go-go beat on a table back then.
Wale, Audio Push, 8 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 14, House of Blues, 308 Euclid Ave., 216-523-2583. Tickets: $27 ADV, $30 DOS, houseofblues.com.