Ab-Soul Addresses "These Days..." Critics; Says Mac Miller Made "Ride Slow" In 10 Minutes

Exclusive: Ab-Soul details bonding with Rick Ross, Jay Electronica & Lupe Fiasco via Twitter and why he thinks fans haven't fully digested his latest album.

Ab-Soul sits back in his chair: cool, calm and collected. It’s been over a month since the release of These Days… and the heavy rounds of promotional-filled days have dwindled down. By now, the reviews have circulated, the fans have made their ultimate decision and the self-proclaimed “Black Lip Pastor” has had a moment to take it all in.

“How was it not Control System 2?” he blurts out in the middle of the interview.

Growing up in his family’s record store in Carson, California, Soulo was surrounded by stacks of carefully packaged sounds. In those days, Ab-Soul, Black Hippy’s second youngest member, had the chance to absorb every detail of the albums that lined the walls, from cover to concept, colors and fonts. Growing up in his family's record store made him meticulous with his own presentation. His themes, artwork and minute details even down to the tracklists were made with reason. Contrary to what people may think, These Days… was not a mockery. He makes that clear. The title is literal. It’s what he believes these days sound like, but of course, every ear is different.

As he sits across the room, religious icons in stained glass colors stare back off the front of his shirt. Soul, who interpreted one of the most famous religious scenes for his album art, knows that it’s too early for These Days… to be understood.

“I’ma let you all sit down and dissect the movie,” he says. “You know it’s a great one, like Inception. You’re not done watching Inception yet. You’re just not.”

Ab-Soul Challenges “Control System” Fans To Grow With Him



  • Bub

    Can't get behind this album a couple good listens no great songs. The album isn't cohesive he's not relaying a vivid message like he did on control system. Yes his phenomenal lyrical ability comes through sometime but that's just because he's so talented, I expect that from soul. The production has to be most disappointing aspect of the album. 5/10 you will be disappointed if your expecting that same genius from control system.

  • w h o k n o w s

    Big Soulo fan but there's nothing about this album that went over my head... I get the concept but the execution was just ok. these days (pun intended) aren't the best time to put together a body of work reflecting the current sound in hip hop because today's sound is not impressive... 6/10

  • Anonymous

    I just got paid usd6784 working off my laptop this month. And if you think that's cool, my divorced friend has twin toddlers and made over usd9k her first month. It feels so good making so much money when other people have to work for so much less. This is what I do ================== www.cashtot.com ==================

  • Gilbert

    Was that migos in the back ground. Lol

  • Anonymous

    Start working part time. I kept hearing other people tell me how much money they can make online so I decided to look into it. Well, it was all true and has totally changed my life. This is what I do. ===================== 2.gp/FoxNews =====================

  • shh

    THESE DAYS is one of the TOP 10 best albums of 2014..i love that AB-SOUL was able to keep his underground stylw w/out being mainstream....it is way better than OXYMORON.......#GK,MC is still the best so ar from BLACK HIPPY...but...JA ROCK's nexr album will give K DOT a challenge.....

  • Anonymous

    I dont think I could ever be with a woman who let French Montana, Sean Kingston and Joe Budden hit it. Banks and Fab are cool though.

  • Anonymous

    fuck a digital album. i don't pay for music files.

  • Gbeg

    So many dumbasess saying they are Ab-Soul fan whilst this album went straight over their heads. No it was no Control System #2 like GKMC wasnt a second Section.80 even tho he still touched a lot of the same topics as on Control System. If you think he went mainstraim you clearly didnt listen to the album.

  • breakerbreaker19

    Soulo needs to make a movie about his life cause that dude is too dope. An autobiopic like Em and 50 did

    • Anonymous

      lol whats it gonna be him sitting in a room alone reading books dropping acid reading about conspiracy theories

  • Anonymous

    Awesome interview

  • Anonymous

    Thought the album was real good but didn't he say that this wasn't suppose to be control system 2? and to me it doesn't compare to control system

  • JaSean

    Soul I used to bump yo shit hard bro. Long Term Mentality and Control System to this day is suffocating my playlist. But yo this album was dookie man. Leave that mainstream shit alone and go back to thuggin it on that conscious/spiritual tip.

  • Anonymous

    lol @ his stripper / video ho baby momma too

  • Anonymous

    album is so fucking boring and whack soul was feeling himself a bit too fucking much

  • Anonymous

    lost all respect for Soulo when he put Officer tRicky on that album.

  • Anonymous

    These Days had some cute tracks but I was still disappointed

  • noahc313rd

    hard to digest garbage, i personally usually throw that shit out. I don't keep force feeding myself something that doesn't want to stay down.

  • sally

    The interviewer (Janice?) keeps agreeing with every single thing Soulo says. Extremely annoying to the viewer. You don't have to be a Yes Man or Woman when interviewing a celebrity..Charlamagne is testament to that lol!

  • Arcata

    This dude seems bitter and arrogant. I could understand him being this way if it was somehow warranted, but his body of work and influence doesn't add up to his persona. Album wasn't good at all, Soul. Still wish you the best.

  • Anonymous

    Soul take your L and keep it moving. These Days was wack my G

  • Anonymous

    The album was just mediocre bruh, it don't require some long detailed explanation.

    • Anonymous

      some of those beats were TERRIBLE my g. the one with lupe especially... and the one with jay rock

    • J

      Wow mediocre?? If you think this album is garbage you must not of listened to it. The album was crazy, one of the best this year. Features were dope and souls lyrics where on point. To say this was a disappointing album is ridiculous, and shows you why the state of hip hop is where it's at. All the soul haters are probably Maclamore or Trinidad James listeners, go listen to Miley Cyrus gtfoh

  • Anonymous

    Lost a lot of respect for him with that Ross song. I can't support police ass niggas and frauds so I didn't buy These Days. Also his girlfriend he "met on twitter" been ran through by half the industry...Lloyd Banks, Joe Buddens, Fabolous, French Montana, Sean Kingston & Bobby Valentino all hit it first! LMAO.

    • Anonymous

      Dude is an obvious homosexual, talking about police and gossip shit like a bitch, no wonder he respects Black males that he has never met before.

    • Anonymous

      i know for a fact his girl got ran thru by all them niggas hell shes on youtube talking to star and buck wild about how banks broke her heart! now soulo falling for that thot shit cause she messagin him on twitter LMFAO


      Another industry insider know it all who thinks he has all the information. the fuck outta here.

  • Aim80

    This album is great, no doubt about it. My first few listens i dont think I felt that way, but it has been on repeat since i bought it, and it just gets better and better the more you listen to it. And i mean LISTEN to it... don't just HEAR it. As far as him putting Rick Ross on the album, i have a theory about that, and I first had the theory when Kendrick threw Drake on his album... and then again when Q threw 2 Chains on HIS album. These guys aren't dumb, and while I'm sure they look at those other rappers as wack, they're not gonna publicly say that and get themselves thrown into a certain category after expressing that opinion. Instead, i think they go "let's get whatever top dollar rapper is out there, that all these kids think are #1 right now, and we'll rap side-by-side with them and SHOW everyone how wack they are, compared to us". And also by doing that, showing fans, and the world, that TDE has the pull to get those kinds of popular rappers on their shit. Its the same thing I always felt Eminem did by putting Wayne on his shit, to just out rap him and let the world know who's better, without saying it directly. Otherwise it'll just come off as "hating" and actions always speak louder than words anyways... These Days... is sick. It's not like a huge lyrical showcase, we all know Soulo can spit a lot harder, but it has great vibes as a complete work of art. And it's pretty cohesive as a whole.

    • Real Talk

      You sound really thoughtful & buff Jerome, wanna Skype sometime? maybe if your in the area we can hang & talk, nothing too fast, LMK

    • Jerome

      I completely agree with your post! The overall message that this ALBUM reflects our current position in time, it is a TIME CAPSULE. And may seem mostly full of ignorance throughout, but doesn't that reflect our society these days more than anything? There are very truthful and passionate songs on the album and even the ignorant sounding ones simply are done this way because now SOULO eating, he has the means for these dope as ignant beats, but his lyrics still aren't ignorant. I will say that I was expecting a very lyrical album and some more enlightening topics to be touched on the album than were, but overall the album is very satisfying especially after each replay....hell it is still growing on me!

    • Real Talk

      Well your theory is wrong, cuz u heard it out his own mouth about how Mac miller had a dope track with Rick Ross. The whole Kendrick and Drake, was a well planned thought because Drake does appeal to women, so they made a track geared towards the female fan base. Same with J Cole , he said if himself that he put Drake on "hit in the morning" track cuz he didn't want the fans to think it was a competition if they were just on a rap beat. Q said it out his own mouth that he likes 2 Chainz, and if u don't like that record to just skip it. I don't think it's rocket science that Q is more lyrical than 2 Chainz. Besides no label is gonna waste money on a Feature just to prove a point. Same with eminem & lil Wayne, em said he respects him and that he is a dope rapper, that's y he did a song with him, if your gonna be the best u have to rap with the best , Carter 2 is still one of the most lyrical, metaphors, punchlines, and all around great album that's been done. That was like Jays Black album, no ones fucking with it. Same can be said with Section. 80, across the board it's a classic.

  • everyone's thinking it

    This dude thinks the more drugs he does the more prophetic he gets. I used to bump his shit heavy before the ego took over. Maybe if you weren't putting 3 tabs under the tongue trying to be Jimi your music wouldn't suck THESE DAYS.

  • Worst Album of 2014

    Rappers have such big egos These Days......

  • drizzy!

    Even Schoolboy Q's mediocre album was better than this. Control System was incredible though.

    • Anonymous

      Nope, this album is better than both of those 2 and it still sucked. Kendrick's albums are good, though. GKMC is TDE's flagship album for reason.

  • Anonymous

    The album was not good, no, not at all. Still love ya Soul but that shit just wasn't a good effort.

  • HHp

    He shouldn't have put that overhyped Rick Ross on his album in the first place A lot of folks (myself included) are groing tired of all these wack rappers nowadays Talented groups like Black Hippy got skills, so it's a bad thing they're collaborating with wack rappers

    • HHp

      Real talk Kanyes "Devil joint" was dope, but Ross fucked that one up Otherwise it would be a muuuch better track...

    • Real Talk

      List to Kanyes MBDF album and listen to the track with Rick Ross "devil. In a dress" that is a dope verse, don't thinks he's overhyped, I think Rick Ross sits in a lane by himself, he's no lyrical beast, but he does give a certain energy on the track. It's like Jordan and Scottie Pippen They play their part. Ross won't be the star on tracks he's featured on, but he will play his role and assist it

    • Worst Album of 2014

      The Guests features were half the reason that album sucked. The other half was ab souls drugged out laziness

  • AOTY

    These Days was AOTY, give it a few listens through and really pay attention to his wordplay.

  • BernieClavender

    if anything, you lost fans not tripled them

  • Anonymous

    Well I dont really label myself a Critic, but I know a wack album when I hear one, and Mr Soul. You sir have a wack album on your hands.

  • Anonymous

    i dont give a fuck if it was control system 2, album was weak as shit