“The law of attraction is real. You get what you put out. First thing that comes to mind is karma, my karma is instant. I try to treat people and things how I like to be treated. I don’t step on ants and roaches. I love all of Gods creatures.”
Fresh in the unzipped, open camo-jacket, his dark curly hair poking out from under his ushanka winter hat, California based hip-hop artist Ab-Soul is casually sitting back, one foot kicked up on the table, listening intently before expressing himself. His unique sense of humour and astute cognizant mind come through every time he speaks. The TDE signed artist is part of the elite, top tier crew of conscious and introspective MCs currently running the game. “I shook shit up when I made Pineal Gland. The third eye guys, we came out, we came out heavy. ‘Beastcoast', that’s where hip hop started. Shoutout to the the Pro Era gang, Joey, CJ and Kirk, Flatbush Zombies, them’s the homies. This is an intelligent movement. That’s what hip hop is, I’m glad we can continue to push that notion. When I hear you I don’t just wanna dance and turn up, I wanna learn something. I wanna hear something, say something. I’m glad to be a part of that,” he says.
The 30-year old is also a cornerstone of one of hip-hops most revered collectives: Black Hippy. Alongside other Southern-California based artists Schoolboy Q, Jay Rock, and Kendrick Lamar they’ve been dominating the game for the last several years. “…Black Hippy is just a name, it's a name for our fusion,” he says, “we all have our own personal goals that we have to reach, there's still a lot of ground that I wanna cover personally. I still got a lot of ground to cover before I can think about putting together a group album. I could probably speak for them when I say that as well.”
A frequent collaborator and close friend of Kendrick Lamar, who himself is off the release of his fourth studio album: DAMN. Ab-Soul has an extremely unique and rare view into his label-mates vision and latest project. “Me and Kendrick are like Ken and Ryu [from Streetfighter]. And I’m Ken, in a lot of ways,” he says, pointing to his long hair with a smile, “what I personally feel like he was tryna do is get back to ‘K.dot’, he’s been Kendrick Lamar for awhile. Kendrick Lamar is the ‘good kid.’ He’s the more introspective kid, but this album he was tryna get back to his roots. Sag his pants, really roll through the hood. With To Pimp a Butterfly he was more so tryna make music that our big homies, that our parents would love. This album he kinda did it for us, our generation, and how we feel.”
".. You know who that is right? You don't know who the blind woman is?!” he exclaims about BLOOD (the opening track to Kendrick’s DAMN.)
Soul is currently working on his next project as well, a follow up to last years Do What Thou Wilt. “It’s a woman appreciation album,” he says. Fans are also in anticipation for follow-ups to his revered, Longterm and Control System projects, “Longterm 3 of course, there’s 4 instalments of LongTerm,” he flashes four fingers up, “when I can honestly tell the story of the Rich and Famous, (from my perspective), that’s when you’ll get LongTerm 3.”
“[As for] Control System part 2? Control System is like Scarface,” he says, with a slight laugh, “I’m scared to listen to that again. That was a cornerstone of my life. A lot happened with me in my personal life when that dropped. To go back there would be kinda ill, but I’ll never say never.”