Producer: Kosmik
Album: More About Nothing
Label: The Board Administration

Just a couple years after MF DOOM flipped this soft-jazzy sample of R&B instrumentalist Ronnie Laws' "Friends and Strangers," Wale spit his own take. Here the drums kick way harder, a stomp-driven rhythm that further dramatizes Wale's account of trifling manhood, a pregnancy scare, and the disintegration of a romance. More About Nothing marks the end of Wale's storyteller flexing, with "The Friends N Strangers" holding strong in the tradition of tracks such as "The Kramer," in which he has something to say without getting bogged down by message and meaning. —Justin Charity