Wale has tried it all: go-go, pop, bombastic trap, soul samples, braggadocio, introspective soul-bearing. And through it all the DC native has never felt quite at home as he does on his fourth album. With a title that harkens back to the mixtape that helped him catch fire, The Album About Nothing finds Wale at a place of peace. He’s not Zenned out like Rick Rubin; his problems haven’t all fallen away, but instead he seems to have come to grips with the realities of his career. Maybe that’s helped along by his idol Jerry Seinfeld who acts as a sort of polestar for the album. The production here is fresh and urgent, giving Wale’s staid flow more grunt and his melodic choruses more of a lush boost, such as on album standout “The Need to Know” featuring SZA. “Still know what my core needs, so f*ck who ignores me,” he raps on “The Helium Balloon.” Let’s hope Wale holds steady to that epigram. —Damien Scott