(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.