Over the years, we've seen Wale take on plenty of different styles and make the transition from local hero to a member of one of the most powerful teams in hip-hop. He's tasted major label success and landed a few big singles, but he's never been more in-the-zone for an entire project than he was on 2008's The Mixtape About Nothing.

Inspired by Seinfeld, Wale highlighted situations that everyone could relate to, and he did it with an energy all his own. Bringing that D.C. flavor with Best Kept Secret handling a large chunk of the production, the tape was heavy on go-go influence and had a live feel that few hip-hop acts can pull off.

Lyrically, The Mixtape About Nothing was thoughtful without tempting anyone to stick it with the dreaded "conscious rap" label. Wale went in with intelligent commentary on culture, current events, and personal stories that added weight that few mixtapes can match.

Many rappers treat hip-hop like a competition to see who can brag about the most extravagant lifestyle, and while this can be highly entertaining, it's not relatable to most listeners. What made Mixtape About Nothing special was that it clicked with fans looking for something real, and it did it with style. —Jacob Moore

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