Ab-Soul

Ab-Soul Talks Lessons From Jay Electronica, Asking Mac Miller To Say "N*gga" + MORE

(AllHipHop News) Ab-Soul is complex but he is not oblivious to criticism. In a recent interview he addressed criticism over his album These Days…, lessons he learned from Jay Electronica and more.

Earlier this year, Jay Electronica and Ab-Soul developed a friendship through Twitter and in February, Soul informed MTV that Electronica was his “spiritual advisor”. During his interview with HipHopDX, Ab-Soul shares one of the lessons from Electronica:

I’ll tell you a message from Jay Electronica. He said, “People like us, we have to go through extensive training in order to be conditioned for what we have to do.” So, I say that to say, enjoy the hurdles, enjoy the hardships, enjoy the struggle because these are the things in a real weird, weird, creepy way. These are the things that we admire most about the people that we admire most—the people that overcome the most. Music is a very successful tool in doing that, in turning a frown upside down.

One of the criticisms of Ab-Soul’s These Days… album is a noticable lack of overt deep messages in exchange for more commercially viable sounding music. Soul admits to know of the criticism but explains how this album compares with his prior album Control System:

I mean like how was it not Control System Part 2 either? I came off on my first song, I said, “Blame God, don’t blame her / All I did was take gangsters to church / Got your lady with literature in her Louis bag / Got your kids studying outside of class / Every project that I drop, she bought ‘em / So now she reads more than she red bottom.” How is that not Control? That’s the first song. What are they talking about? I probably said “third eye” on the album 10 times at least.

Soul recorded the majority of his album in Mac Miller’s home studio in California, with Miller producing the Danny Brown-assisted “Ride Slow”. Miller has achieved considerable commercial success in his young career and Ab-Soul says he tested how down to Earth he still was:

I had to test him. I’m like, “Man, I just need you, just say, “N*gga.” Just say, “N*gga” on this record.” He’s like, “I can’t do it, Soul. I can’t do it.” I’m like, “OK, you’re still on the ground.” So even with all of these influences, he knows his boundaries as well. As an artist and as a person, he’s not gonna disrespect anybody. He knows his limitations as well, which is cool.

Check out the full interview here.

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  • ghettogov

    The album just isn’t what people expected, but it’s still pretty good..most of ab soul’s fans probably look to him for primarily deep and spiritual topics so when he comes with something that is clearly a slight departure from that a not so positive response is to be expected. i think he will learn from this and dig deeper next time. The album fits the title and that’s the problem with it. It sounds too much like right now and at the moment hiphop kinda sucks. I also think recording in la at Mac Miller’s studio influenced the album’s sound in a slightly negative way.

  • hoeyuno

    The bigger a Caucasian rapper is the less likely he’ll be saying that…nobody gives two shyts when cage, necro or someone like this sneaks in a n***a here or there(which they have) but once your a mainstream sucsess you better hope you never said that shyt on record when you were younger….I know little about mac miller but he is sucsessful and I doubt hes that dumb.. even if 99% of black folks were sayin they didnt give a fucc if white rappers used the word it wouldnt be worth it to piss off that 1%..especially when its chuck d in that…

  • don king

    in my opinion its not a control system 2, cause alot of beats n hooks suck n the lyrics r dumbed down 2. seems like ab tried 2 go more mainstream, but ended in a grey zone. right between his fans n the mainstream audience. the album is 2 low 4 his fans, but still over the head n 2 musical 4 the mainstream listeners. i was disappointed with the album, cause everythin (the album title, artwork n the first snippet single stigmata) let me hope its gon b a control system 2 or even better.

    instead he watered down his lyrics alot, rapped way 2 much bout money n lean, he had rick ross on it (wtf his verse was so unnecessary n garbage), a trashy dj mustard kind of beat (TWACT), a total depressin n unmusical song (Closure) which he also put out as a single (worst decision), followed by another bs song (Sapiosexual), Feelin’ Us is wack 2 (horrible hook!). thats just everythin i dont like summed up.

    on the other hand most ab verses r still not that bad or dope! i like God’s Reign, Kendrick Lamar’s Interlude, Stigmata, Ride Slow, W.R.O.H n the battle was dope 2 (1 of the best ab verse on the whole album)! the album is still 1 of the best of this year 2 me, but i thought it would b the best, which it is clearly not. i know this is complainin on a high level, but i just expect more of a super dope lyricist like him n i know he can do alot better!!!

    • ghettogov

      I agree with virtually everything you said. Well put.

  • Obi Won

    I got a homie that stated These Days was a “statement album” to display whats being made “these days”. The problem with that is why would you make an entire album to display your distaste for the music out now? The 1st song did have me looking forward to the rest of the album, but most of the album, turned into trash. Its disrespectful to call your own album CS 2, when control system was nothing but mind unraveling truth. That’s what made Soul stand out from the rest and made him the deeper artist. Not only on TDE but the game PERIOD. These Days was a HUGE disappoint, everyone felt that way, but Control System was a big/deep enough album to forget about it. Soul Brother owes us one.

    • don king

      exactly! if u go at it with this concept, u got 2 make records which r way better than the songs u hate on. the concept itself aint that bad 2 me, but it doesnt work if u got also shitty hooks n just sprinkle in 3 good wordplays on those bs beats.

    • John Q. Public

      Yea the only track I liked was the bonus 20mins at the end when they do the freestyle spoken word battle… that was dope

    • Myleage

      world runner and sapiosexual didnt tickle your fancy? jeez, nigga drops gold and you people take it for granite (get it).

      • John Q. Public

        I forgot about World Runners that track was cool. I like Kendricks interlude as well. Sapiosexual I wasn’t feeling tho.

        WROH was def the highlight of album for me tho

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  • Walwyn Morgan

    Fans are too fickle. This nigga is just expected to remain a deep and conscious rapper for the rest of his life?

  • Liquid Soap

    just have fun is my favorite song

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