Ab-Soul: "Listen to Nas and Jay Z, and You'll Learn a Whole Lot"
Disclaimer: No questions about Kendrick Lamar, Top Dawg Entertainment, the new Source magazine cover big-upping Black Hippy as "Rap's Illest Crew," or anything along those lines in this interview.
Now that we've gotten that out of the way, it's been a year and a half since TDE's human dictionary, Ab-Soul, released the critically acclaimed Control System, an album that he admits may take the majority of listeners quite a bit of time to understand.
In that time, bars from Soulo have come in monthly by the 16, either on his own tracks or on features, but he has done so in the quietest fashion, teasing fans who just can't wait for his next full-length project. In the meanwhile, though, a few shows will do.
See also: Joey Badass Talks Debut Album B4.Da.$$: "Just Taking My Time, Not Forcing Anything"
Right now, Ab-Soul's on the road with Joey Badass and the Underachievers as part of the Smokers Club Tour that'll be hitting Grand Central tomorrow. And earlier this week, he took some time to speak with us about his growing fanbase, Illuminati, and Jay Z responding to his tweet. Dude even asked a question himself.
It's Soulo, hoe!
Crossfade: How often are you told that you look like Eazy E when you wear your hat and glasses?
Ab-Soul: Very often. Actually, more recently been getting Slash. But I get Eazy E the most, for sure. I like all of the little comparisons. They call me Michael, sometimes, too.
Why do you think there's been a gradual but continuous increase in fans and listeners when it's been close to a year and a half since Control System?
I think Control System is a lot. It's a lot of words. It's a lot of content. It's probably going to take the mass quite some time to fully figure it out, to fully grasp the whole concept. I plan continue to grow just off of Control System alone, as I have.
What's the greatest challenge you've faced since deciding to rap without writing down your lyrics?
The most difficult thing for me, sometimes, is that honesty might be a little brutal for a lot of people. You feel what I'm saying? A lot of the things that I say might offend a lot of my friends, even my fam. That's probably the most difficult thing, just having the balls to say what I want to say at the expense of someone else.
Do you find that sometimes you may bite your tongue in the slightest because of that?
Hmm ... Not really. I'm mindful of everything that comes out of my mouth. That's all I can really say to that. I think I say everything I want to say, though. I find a way to say everything I want said.