Ab-Soul On Being "One Of The Best Authors Ever," Talks Jay-Z & Nas Jabs

Ab-Soul says he hopes to release books one day and shares an explanation for why he took a shot at Jay-Z and Nas.

For Life+Times' Decoded series, Ab-Soul took time to explain one of his verses with more depth. The TDE emcee discussed his verse for "Illuminate." According to Soul, his shot at Jay-Z and Nas on the cut was a form of extending a challenge and he also explained why he feels he can become "one of the best authors ever."

"This is basically a traditional or a conventional jab at my favorite artists or favorite players in the game at the time. It was just extending a challenge to play on their same court, if you will," he said of his jabs at Jay-Z and Nas. 

On the song, Soul says he feels he can "run laps 'round Jay-Z" and that "Nas ain't seen nothin' this nasty." 

In the song, Soul also shares that he's "the best author ever to breathe." 

"I think I have a shot at being one of the best authors ever," he clarified. "I do plan on publishing a few books in my lifetime. We'll see."

In the interview, he also shared that his Paid Dues tattoo is real. 

"As for the Paid Dues reference. I did get Paid Dues tatted last year."

The tattoo is of the Paid Dues logo for Murs' annual festival for independent Hip Hop. 

More from the interview can be seen below.

RELATED: Ab-Soul Explains Firing Competitive Shots At The Throne, Meaning Of "Control System"

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32 Comments

  • Heffe Christ

    Ab-Soul you are already in the rap game, so you already have a shot at being one of the greatest. Your work ethic, mentality and material will help you rise to those levels. Keep grinding my G.

  • ray

    come on now ab soul you aint on jay and nas level , go at someone like a j cole or a meek mill

  • BLACK

    WHY DO WE EVEN HAVE TO SAY "BUT JAY AND NAS ON A HIGHER LEVEL"??? SERIOUSLY??? I MEAN, I LIKE SOME AB-SOUL TRACKS, BUT ARE WE REALLY GOING OFF HYPE LIKE THAT THESE DAYS??? FUCK YALL NIGGAZ MAN...

    • Harlem

      Great comment i couldn't agree more. With that said i just heard control-system for the first time two days ago. Great Album real shit. Bar for Bar Ab-Soul might be better then Kendrick. They pretty much even. They both nice. Kendrick is just nicer with his harmonize skills.(Tho Soul harmonize a bit himself) Still like Kendrick a bit more. I heard the song it kinda was a diss or a call for attention. I also think it was a respect bar. Overall that song is hot tho, but these new guys have a long time to reach the legends.

  • Anonymous

    SOULO HO. He my nigga, but Jay and Nas still on a higher league. Soul just needs more time

  • dadonjuan

    he's a good emcee. I like him musically!! But Damn, homie like a clucked out old ass woman though. PS: No hate just an observstion

  • SUNSET

    JAY Z YES NAS HELL NO HE GOT HIS STYLE FROM NAS WHY DO THESE YOUNG BOYS ALWAYS TALK ABOUT DUDES BEING OLD EVERYBOODY HAS TO LEARN FROM SOMEBODY CUT THE BULLSHIT OUT

  • youngsta

    it's true though. ab-soul can rap circles around jay-z and nas hasn't made anything as good as control system. listen to him rap, those old ass niggas aren't touching him in any shape, form or fashion. ab-soul speaking the truth right here. and illuminate is one of the best songs of the year.

    • @joe

      Okay, I agree with you saying that Ab-Soul is not better than Nas. I get that. But don't use Illmatic for the sake of using it. You can only compare 5 other hip hop albums to Illmatic. Saying Nas is better because Illmatic is better than Control System is dumb because we all know that Illmatic is one of the greatest hip hop records ever made. Besides, you make it sound like Illmatic was the only great album Nas ever made. What about It Was Written, God's Son, The Lost Tapes? Life Is Good was dope too.

    • Ramel

      Young Boy...turn in your Hip Hop card. You don't belong to our Culture! Now GTFOH!

    • joe

      ab-soul is dope but illmatic>control system

  • Hip Hop please

    Ab Soul is DOPE

  • Poisson9

    I was amazed when I heard the verses at first, can't knock ab-soul ambition. The conceptual visions he paints is why I like his style. Since control system his been running that court.

  • here we go again

    Ether Part II coming soon

  • ...

    I'm done, only like two three people that commented actually read the article/listened to the interview and did not make an asinine comment based on the article's title.

  • Anonymous

    wayyyyyy out your league bruh... jay and nas...riiight. The beast author ever to breath? shakespear, hemmingway, plato...yah...

  • Anonymous

    I'm the coldest cat, sabretooth

  • TaZzZ

    Man apparently no one listened to control system, one of the best albums this year by miles. He's saying he wants to compete with Nas and Jay, its not a diss. Man, people don't know how to listen... This techno-centric generation only knows how to read a couple lines of a story without getting the context or even listening to the dude explain it. Everybody just skims for the most shocking part of the story and gives their opinion, its embarrassing... "Y'all listen to music or you just skim through it"?

    • Real Talk

      not that serious whiteboy....16 people commented so far, half are from the same computer, so like 8 people commented. So based off these comments "This techno-centric generation only knows how to read a couple lines of a story without getting the context or even listening to the dude explain it. " You were able to come up with this fact? or assumption?

  • Anonymous

    Dude is dope on the mic.

  • ...

    And just a heads up...Life and Times is a Jay Z's website.

  • ...

    To the guys who don't know who he is 1/4th of the Black Hippy Crew(Kendrick Lamar? Schoolboy Q? Jay Rock?) Yall didn't listen to Control System? Smfh.

  • Killem Dafoe

    Good to see this guy's humble...who the Fuck is he anyway?

  • dazeone

    Jay Z steals material ...AbSoul is a better lyricist than Jay just has to say more with less and get better hooks (good MC but not a good song writer) ...Nas is dope but his songs are hit or miss ...ABSoul has a ways to go before he can smell either's catalogue though

    • cutyourhair

      Better Lyricist than Jay??? Even old ass Jay can eat this guy up. Nas songs are hit or miss??? He makes classics what are you talking about. Ab-Soul has made NOTHING classic, that one mixtape cannot stand the musical test of time. It is no way a play all the way thru cd.

  • Nemoe

    Jay-Z and Nas jabs? Nigga you better back the fuck up. Sick of all these garbage ass new rappers running they jaw. Who is this corny negro anyway?

    • Anonymous

      nice research you ignorant fuck. you dont know nothing of ther guy and still talk shit about him based off this article. stupid ignorant nigga fucks.

    • gorillaj

      Not whack, not THAT new, and not corny. Don't even put him in the same trash can a lot of these other goons come from. Soul-O ho3

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