While Kendrick and Q nab all the attention, Black Hippy cohort Ab-Soul’s been in the corner plotting his own road to the spotlight. His thirst to prove he’s not just out to ride the wave and show that he’s a powerful emcee entirely on his own terms has been evident since last year’s LongTerm Mentality, and has carried over onto what we’ve heard so far from Control System. Each leak has been very unique and unorthodox – even by Black Hippy’s standards – and the album’s assumed-to-be final single is the K-Dot-assisted “ILLuminate,” an emotional, personal record that throws all off Soulo’s hunger on wax for everyone to hear.
And who better to go up against than K-Dot? Ironically, it’s Kendrick’s shadow that Ab-Soul’s been trying to get away from, but accomplishing that is as easy as Ryan Mallet showing up Tom Brady on any given Sunday. The record’s hook features an interpolation of “A.D.H.D” from last year’s Section.80*, and of course a noteworthy verse courtesy of Compton’s prince. But don’t count out Ab-Soul just yet. Yes, everything Kendrick touches is gold, but Ab-Soul’s flow and bullet-like delivery just may leave him walking away with the W. And as usual, the track’s Mixed By Ali.
* – Is it still too early to call it a classic?