Artist Profile: Ab-Soul

“Come again, no introduction, you know my name
Soul Brother Deuce, suck the juice from my ding-a-ling.

Orangutan arms, bang a nigga like a set
When I speak, stay fuckin’ silent, like sex for the deaf”

In every group, there’s always the nerd of the group. When it comes to TDE, you could make the case that Kendrick Lamar already holds that title, but when you dig deeper into the group, you’ll know that this man, Ab-Soul, is definitely the one that has all of the eccentricities that rub off of other members of the group. Kendrick Lamar wasn’t as deep and thought provocative about life until Soul came around (that’s been quoted, I’m not just talking out of my ass), and that being around him really influenced his way of thinking about the world and life around it. Ab-Soul is like that one uncle you have that is all deep and outer worldly, that you just have to sit and really take in, because he’s really saying some deep stuff that can affect you in more than one way – that’s how I feel about his music.

Like Kendrick Lamar & ScHooboy Q (okay, I might as well say the whole TDE clique), I discovered him when I went to the Kendrick Lamar concert in Toronto in June 2011. He had a set before Kendrick, and with the wild afro (that he struggle to take a hair tie out of), baggy jeans, shades, and the aura of him just being above the clouds, you could automatically tell that he was THEE hippy of the crew. Self-proclaimed ‘Black Lip Bastard‘ (because he smokes a lot of weed that turns his lips darker), he’s the member of the group that I didn’t take in all the way because he was different, but hearing him on tracks like ‘Druggy’s Wit Hoes‘ on Q’s Setbacks and Kendrick’s ‘P&P 1.5,’ I knew this guy was pretty dope. First song he performed at the concert was ‘Hell Yeah,’ (featuring ScHoolboy Q but Q couldn’t get into Canada, which I’m still upset at) and it was HYPE! The song is driven by the struggles of life in the working class, and pretty much how the government just doesn’t care about anything about the people (Read my ‘Fuck The Government‘ post), and then he did ‘Moscato‘ (which is a popular beverage that I wouldn’t know much about, since I don’t drink), and it was a relaxed feel. He can really take it from one style to another in simply an instant, but it’s all about versatility and at least he keeps it entertaining.

His catalog isn’t as deep as Kendrick’s, but the whole Black Hippy crew have been around for years doing collective work (I still have to get all of that). Longterm: Mentality & Longterm 2 are good  great projects from Soul, so be sure to check them out, and Control System comes out soon. He’s definitely worth listening to because he brings a hype vibe and a broad perspective in life to his music. All around, he’s just one black hippy.


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