Jerry Seinfeld Talks Unlikely Wale Friendship
Wale’s Seinfeld-inspired The Album About Nothing currently sits atop the Billboard 200, and while Jerry Seinfeld spent almost a decade near the upper echelon of the Nielsen ratings, Wale’s new LP, an extension of his 2008 The Mixtape About Nothing, marks the first time the comedian has featured on a Number One album. To celebrate the achievement – Seinfeld calls it “a dragon I have long wanted to slay” – the New York Times spoke to Seinfeld about the 60-year-old comic’s unlikely friendship with 30-year-old rapper and what attracted him to the Wale’s music.
“I think I met [Wale] even before I knew about [The Mixtape About Nothing]. My wife was a fan and she plays his music in the house all the time. I liked it, too,” Seinfeld said. “So I had heard his name and then he came to a show and asked if he could say hello, so he came backstage. I thought he was a very charming young man. And then I heard about the mixtape, and he came up with the idea of doing the whole album. It just felt so offbeat and that’s what appeals to me.”
Seinfeld pops up on The Album About Nothing as the narrator and the rapper’s conscience. Like the series – where each episode was named ”The Contest,” “The Chinese Restaurant,” “The Puffy Shirt,” etc. – The Album About Nothing also gives its 14 tracks “The” titles, from “The Helium Balloon” to “The Body.” Seinfeld also voiced his support of the album when he tweeted to his 2.8 million followers, ”Look at my friend @Wale! On point. On fleek. On top!”
While Seinfeld would never classify himself as a rap aficionado, he says there’s a quality to Wale’s music that transcends hip-hop and appeals to the comedian. “Wale, to me, he has a little bit of hypnotic sound in his voice,” Seinfeld said. “There’s a richness to his emotion. When you listen to the music, you can feel what he’s feeling and I like that. Great singing always has that.”
The sitcom legend also revealed that he has since befriended another rapper: Kanye West. “He was very nice,” Seinfeld told the Times of the Yeezus rapper, whom Seinfeld met at the SNL 40 bonanza. “We were in the garage and we were all freezing. He invited Mrs. Seinfeld and I onto a bus that he was in. He seemed like a nice young man.”