Off Ab-Soul’s debut LP, Control Systems (out now through Top Dawg entertainment), Ab-Soul goes hard from beginning to end. In a mere two verses, he boasts being better than Jay-Z and Nas; that he would be open to coming at BIG and Pac in the afterlife; that Black Hippy (Jay Rock, Kendrick Lamar, Schoolboy Q, and Ab-Soul) is the reincarnation of N.W.A. It becomes hard to not believe him when his confidence leaves no room for questioning. He’s convinced, whether you like it or not.
Kendrick’s guest spot is balanced with the hook, slowing it down with one of his trademark laid back choruses. The real damage of his verse is completed by his lyrical staccato.
Post-mortum thoughts: Death has become 2Pac and Eazy-E, Black Hippy’s predecessors out West. Yet Ab-Soul’s comparisons to the icons, bold as they may be, signify that the the Left Coast is alive.