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Control System

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Album Review

With his 2012 effort, Control System, Ab-Soul is the fourth and final member of the Black Hippy crew to stake a solo claim, but chalk it up to this album being crafted over time, because here he's matched his teammates (Kendrick Lamar, Jay Rock, and ScHoolboy Q), and arguably topped them. Ab-Soul is the child of record store-owning parents, and his backing tracks are not only diverse, but purposefully diverse, with the horny "Lust Demons" (produced by Tae Beast) sounding brittle and moneyed like a chopped-up R. Kelly cut, plus, had Ab-Soul not gotten to this buttery stuff first, the woozy "Empathy" (with Skhye Hutch at the controls) would've started a bidding war between Devin the Dude and the neo-soul genre in total. Still, with "Double Standards" beating on misogyny as hard as 50 Cent beats up on Fat Joe, it turns out that what really sticks is Ab-Soul's open mind about anything and everything, as "Showin' Love" praises a higher power with sincerity before putting the sting on the competition by brutally focusing on their cheap bag of schwag ("nugs as big as Chuck E. Cheese tokens!"). That's the brain, the brawn, the beats, and the belly laughs all at once, and when "Pineal Gland" twists a Cypress Hill track into a Twilight Zone episode, it's something new altogether, something Ab-Soul must have triangulated with Bizzy Bone and Dipset as his two known angles. Stunning, and at 17 tracks, surprisingly solid, Ab-Soul gets it right on the opening "Soulo Ho3," cracking the whip in that Eazy-E style with "Said I was the underdog/Turns out I'm the secret weapon."

Customer Reviews

Black Hippy TDE and nothing else.

This is by far the best album I've ever purchased on iTunes!!!!!! Soulo hoe!!!!!

Solid project

The project is quite solid in delivering a good listen, I don't think it is as strong as his last project If considered as a whole, but I definitely recommend it to any TDE fans, the odd track came across as quite weak for his standard, however I believe this is due to Soul trying to expand his sound. I would buy the whole album just to hear "The Book of Soul". Can't wait to see where he goes from here on.


iii underrated, so damn underrated 🙌


Born: 23 February 1987 in Los Angeles, CA

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Able to juggle the profound and the profane along with the mainstream and the underground, rapper Ab-Soul is a member of the Black Hippy crew as well as a solo artist. Born Herbert Stevens in Los Angeles, Ab-Soul contracted Stevens-Johnson syndrome as a child, a hypersensitivity complex that left him light sensitive and wearing sunglasses most of the time. He rapped throughout high school but didn't take it seriously until after graduation, forming the group Area 51 with rapper Snake Hollywood and...
Full bio
Control System, Ab-Soul
View in iTunes

Customer Ratings