Saturday, June 28, 2014
Ab Soul- These Days
Ab Soul finally has released his major label debut album that fans have been clamoring for. These Days is following Soul's excellent 2012 Control System so expectations were high. Not only was Control System an amazing piece of work but look at the pressure Soulo is under. He has to keep the momentum going for the best label out right now in TDE. Ever since Control System dropped, Kendrick dropped Good Kid Maad City and a million features. Schoolboy Q released Oxymoron. Isaiah Rashad and Sza were both signed and released very solid projects of their own. No one can really remember the last subpar Jay Rock verse. The point is TDE has been on a roll and Soul is looking to keep that going. There is a lot of expectations for the album but did it meet them?
I'll just get to the tracks which I didn't like out of the way first. Hunnid Stax, Dub Sac, and Sapiosexual I could do without. Those songs I straight up just didn't like. When I see Schoolboy and Soulo on a track together, I'm expecting Druggys Wit Hoes, not the generic "fuck bitches, get money." If you're going for that radio hit, make that shit fun like Druggys Wit Hoes. I don't understand why rappers on the radio who do that money, hoes, drugs stuff take themselves so seriously. Make that shit fun to listen to that can make people laugh when they singing along to it because they know how stupid it is too, but I digress. And one last thing on Hunnid Stax, someone please get Mac Miller off of here. From what I hear on the internet, Mac has improved a lot since his Blue Slide Park and Kids These Days projects but shit, I haven't heard it. I haven't listened to his solo projects yet from from the features I've heard him on I just am not impressed. And if you somehow come across this Mac, I'm still going to listen to your solo stuff so I'm not saying you suck as an artist (you got bars as Larry Fisherman), I'm just saying I haven't liked the features you've been on.
A track that perfectly sums up how I feel about the album is Twact. I have no idea what that means and I love Ab-Soul's verse but please someone never let Jinx (or Short Dawg idk) near a mic again. "I stay in the lines like I'm coloring." I don't even have to say anything else about that weak ass line. I hated the song for a good three days just because of that line but I don't hold grudges so I kept listening to it and it grew on me. I love the beat, I love the hook, and I love Soulo's last verse and how he sounded on that beat. It gives me some hope that he can make it on the radio with the right feature (not that I think he cares about that). He has a chance to make it mainstream, but I don't think he can do so by himself. He needs a big name to get people's attention but the potential is there. Another example of how I think he can make it mainstream is the next song Just Have Fun. Great sequence btw since Twact is all about having fun and is some "turn-up" music, Just Have Fun's hook is "Do the Drugs don't let the drugs do you." Definitely a nice little PSA to all the ravers out there who just swallow pills and 80% of the time are lucky nothing happens to them because guarantee they have no idea what they are ingesting. My favorite line in the track was "I never paid tuition but I paid attention, that's why I gotta make it count when they pay admission." Another great message you don't hear on the radio. There's a lot of public school kids who don't pay tuition. It shows if you take advantage of a free education, people will pay you well to perform at your job whether you are on stage or sitting in a cubical as long as you take your education seriously.
Another standout from the album was Closure. A lot of people hated Closure but I liked it. I always like when artists get introspective and I appreciated this from Soulo. He is still shaken up by the loss of Alori Joh and is not even pretending that he has gotten over it. Even his rebound girl (sorry Yaris) can't help him overcome the loss. People didn't like that he was crooning the whole time but I liked the change of pace. It shows versatility.
It took me a while, but These Days has grown on me a lot. At first, I thought it was a good album but I was mad that it wasn't as good as Control System. Although I wasn't expecting it to be the same album, I was expecting some of the same content but with more radio friendly beats. After realizing how stupid I was for expecting that kind of album, I listened to it again and really couldn't believe all the hate that it as been getting so far online. This is one of the better albums of 2014 for me. It isn't at the top but it's in the top 6 or 7 for me personally. I'd give the album a B-
Check what Talib Kweli had to say about the album, pretty dope.
Also 2014 been a pretty dope year so far for Ab-Soul features, check some of the favorites.
Nitty Scott- Apex Feat Ab-Soul
Smoke DZA- Hearses feat Ab-Soul
Common- Made In Black America feat. Ab-Soul