6 Things We Learned From Ab-Soul's "These Days..." Listening Session

HipHopDX attended Ab-Soul's "These Days..." listening session. Here are six things that we learned.

Ab-Soul held a listening session for his anticipated release, These Days… in Santa Monica, California’s Red Bull Studios last Saturday (June 21). In front of small gathering of friends, collaborators and label mates—including Punch, Sza and Terrace Martin—as well as selected media, Soulo shared the central theme to the album. “I know we see the Jesus cover,” he said. “I don’t want anybody to think that I actually think I’m Jesus in the flesh.” He continued:

“The concept is more than anything, I realize that people are reciting these words. When I go out to a show, they say the words with me. When I say these things, I am saying what I think of. The main theme of the album is ‘I’m more than a man / I done died and rose again / Left these holes in my hand / So you know who I am.’ If you say that with me, it’s like you said it, too. So you can too be that for a second. Dig what I’m saying? Take that with you. I know that when I say these things, you can actually be that for a second, or you can be me for a second, or say it back with me. Just keep that in mind.”

Neither in direction or intent, These Days…doesn’t sound as convoluted as that statement may read. In comparison to his critically acclaimed #controlsystem, this album is infinitely more accessible. There are a few connections to the previous project and the newest, however, one of which is that the album’s second cut, “Tree Of Life” is a nod to #controlsystem album cover, for example. But holistically, Ab intended for this project to mirror life as he sees it through his legally blind eyes these days.

“That’s something that we say a lot to describe what’s going on right now,” Ab-Soul said describing the meaning of the title during the Q&A session that followed the listening. “That’s what I wanted to do. Rolling off of #controlsystem, I didn’t want to seem too philosophical so we don’t want to confuse anybody. [I wanted] to bring it back down-to-Earth.”

That was the first thing HipHopDX learned from Ab-Soul’s These Days…listening session. Here are five more: 

Quotes taken directly from Ab-Soul

“Kendrick Lamar’s Interlude” Is Part 2 To Section.80’s “Ab-Soul Outro” 

“Have you you heard “Ab-Soul’s Outro" on Section.80? That was a take on that. This is “Kendrick Lamar’s Interlude.” I thought I’d keep the theme on that as much as possible. Terrace Martin produced the record as well. It’s a complete spin on “Ab-Soul’s Outro" on Section.80—part 2.” 

Puff Daddy Lends “Mo Money Mo Problems” Angle To These Days…

“Absolutely. That has a lot to do with that. We’re making money now. This is a nice studio we’re in. Things are moving up. Real life still happens when I leave here, too.”

“Closure” Is A True Story

“When I do these things, it’s not so much that I’m trying to show myself in a particular way. I do like to be diverse. I like to challenge myself to try new sounds. But that really happened these days. I felt a responsibility to tell it. Had it not been a closure, had it been an opening, I would’ve told you that. I didn’t want to do it just to make you feel a certain way. It really happened. I felt a responsibility to tell it.” 

Rick Ross “Nevermind” Feature Secured Through Twitter

“I’ve bumped into him a lot [while] out, but I reached out to him on Twitter. He just got right back with me. It was cool. We haven’t had a [meeting of the minds yet]. Maybe after this, I’ll probably sit down with him.”

Ab-Soul Battles Daylyt On These Days…

“A lot of people are wondering why the last track is 23 minutes. I actually battled one of my favorite battle rappers right now. His name is Daylyt. Battle Rap is very popular these days. Like I said, I want this to be a time capsule of the times right now and it’s more exciting than it’s been at this point. I wanted to try to see if I could do that if I could—blur the lines between the battle rapper and rapper who battle raps.”

Justin "The Company Man" Hunte is the Editor-in-Chief of HipHopDX. He was the host of The Company Man Show on PNCRadio.fm and has covered music, politics, and culture for numerous publications. He is currently based in Los Angeles, California. Follow him on Twitter@TheCompanyMan.

RELATED: 6 Things We Learned From ScHoolboy Q's "Oxymoron" Listening Session

18 Comments

  • Anonymous

    He say's all that shit and then they say it's accessible.

  • 3headedmonstah

    man the way he bitched and complained for this album to come out, I see it going pass every ones head.. there is no buzz about it what so ever. I do not understand why he couldn't wait, and let top dawg, take care of all the marketing and promotions.. smh sorry Soul but your shit is going to flop.. TDE fans will love it.. L.A will love it, but it wont go coastal... shit i didn't even know it came out today lol smh damn

  • Anonymous

    Great album, another win for TDE & Soul

  • kass

    Ab-soul is an idiot! The philosophical rhymes are the REASON that he got a fan base!! It he dumbs his shit down, which he seems to have in this album, no one's gonna give a fuck about it.

  • K. Dot

    Guys, listen to the album again, this time, listen to the lyrics. And this is obviously something different than his previous albums, don't compare it to his previous works. These Days: 9/10 (My opinion.) I'd like to hear your opinions. Thanks for reading.

    • Justin Hunte

      He definitely didn't come up short with the bars. "These Days..." has all the trappings of a sneakily addictive project.

  • tde

    this album was a super disappointment... its really too bad.

  • Anonymous

    Not a happy fan. Thought the album lacked the ab soul of control system and the longterm 2.

    • Anonymous

      "Thats something that we say a lot to describe whats going on right now, Ab-Soul said describing the meaning of the title during the Q&A session that followed the listening. Thats what I wanted to do. Rolling off of #controlsystem, I didnt want to seem too philosophical so we dont want to confuse anybody. [I wanted] to bring it back down-to-Earth. niggas don't take the time to read and make ignorant comments

  • No Remorse Cuz I'm The Fucking Murderer

    Man, these DX marks really trying to get under my skin, huh? Started with that wack ass schoolbitch getting whistled at, then a bunch of feminen idiocy articles; then, that big eared fruitcake, followed by numerous articles on this soulbum....damn, all these fa66ots need to do now is cover Hopsins fucked up nose having self and they would cross the line. Man whats with all the corny rap, where's the real???! White boys done fucked up our game! Haha f4gs eat dicks 4 days! Outies Replies: fuck your mamas

    • im the fuckin murderers mon

      You tell them son and after u do your chores and put your toys away u can ay the albums u made because obviously these "fa66ots" are not on your level i mean the album u dropped called.... oh wait u dont have one but thats okay because that that track u released on ...oh wait u dont have a contract but thats okay you are obviously the best because u said all those intelligent comments and are able to back it up with... oh wait u cant because u have no talent at all in any form or fasion because if what u said had any merit what so ever you would obviosly be number one on the charts showing these white people how its done after all you are my genius baby boy who knows how its done and can back it up with all those plaques.... wait my bad the only plaque u ever had was the green shit on your crusty ass teeth but dnt worry one day the kids ill like u play with on nintendo and i swear i might even have an ounce of respect instead of wondering why i didnt fuck myself with a coathanger when i found out i was having you... n e ways momma loves you hugs:*

    • Anonymous

      Try leaving your house every so often

  • Anonymous

    Production sucks hard and these verses can't make up for that. Even Schoolboy's album is better and that's a really bad thing for Ab.

  • 7 Execution Style Murders

    One thing I learned: that it's overhyped garbage! Kendrick is overhyped trash! Schoolbitch is overhyped compost! Tde eats nutsack! Fuck them, fuck eminem, fuck hopsin, fuck a privelrdged whiteboy replying! Hahaha outies

    • Real shit.

      Your corny as fuck bro. And you ain't never killed nobody so stop with the "I'm the murder" & "7 execution style" bullshit. Your soft as they come boy and you know it.

    • dddd

      The only that I agree with, is "Fuck Hopsin." The corniest, too many pronouns using so called "lyricist."