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Ab-Soul “Christopher DRONEr”

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Always one to flirt with the controversial and conspiratorial, TDE member Ab-Soul comes through with new music that could leave you head nodding or scratching it. The title is a play on the name of former LAPD police officer and Unites States Navy Reserve officer Christopher Dorner, who made huge news earlier this year when he killed a police officer and two others, causing one of the biggest manhunts in LAPD history. Dorner was dismissed from the department “for falsely claiming his training officer kicked an immobilized suspect” and alleged in a manifesto that there was “entrenched racism in the department.” The chase ended in mid-Februrary when Dorner was cornered in a cabin, which caught fire. He was later found dead, charred with a self-inflicted bullet wound to the head.

The single’s cover art is a mash-up of Dorner and Soul, and Ab directly references the case with lines like “Money, murder, grab your burner, cabins burnin’, where is free?” He opens the song with declarative challenges; “Perception is everything,” “Bunch of drones, can’t think for your own.” Soulo himself is from Carson City, so his interest in the Dorner case makes sense. What commentary he’s offering on it all is less clear.

The track is produced by Willie B, mixed by Ali, and closes with an allusion to Kanye’s “New Slaves:” “Went and bought some Alexander Wang after I heard new slaves,” he raps. The line reinforces the hook of “can’t think for your own” and feels more an endorsement of the Yeezus track than a criticism.

In the song, Ab poses the question “Fuck’s gotten into Herbet now?” but it’s fairly consistent with his previously charged material. What do you make of it all?

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