Ab-Soul Reveals Reason Behind Black Hippy XXL Cover Frustration

Ab-Soul says Jay Z's "Reasonable Doubt" is his favorite album, says the LP served as his "foundation."

XXL magazine’s October/November issue may have served as a milestone for West Coast-based, rap quartet Black Hippy, but upon seeing the cover of the magazine a handful of those in the group immediately expressed concern with the way in which the group’s name was pictured on the cover.

The group was listed as “Kendrick Lamar & Black Hippy” and did not include separate mentions of the other group member’s names.

Ab-Soul, who also appeared on XXL’s Freshman Class 2013 cover, was the first to express his distaste for the cover as he informed publications via Twitter, “If y'all keep printing 'Kendrick Lamar & Black Hippy' I will remove myself from the group. Thanks.”

The TDE wordsmith recently clarified his remarks during an interview with Bootleg Kev and revealed that his tweet was meant for all blogs and media outlets, and not just XXL.

“I’m glad you asked that cause that wasn’t exactly directed at XXL,” Soulo said. “That’s everybody. That was for all blogs, all social media, all media outlets. A lot of them are printing it like that and that’s just not what—that’s not the name of the group…I wouldn’t even have been mad if they had his name super big and they just put our names under his real small. I wouldn’t even have been mad at that.”

Prior to speaking on XXL’s October/November issue, Ab-Soul shared the names of the artists who have had an impact on him musically. Among the rappers mentioned were Canibus, Eminem, and Jay Z. Soul also referred to Jay Z’s Reasonable Doubt as being his foundation.

“I grew up in a record shop,” he said. “So, I think that might have a lot to do with it. You know what I mean? I definitely have a diverse catalogue of music…The first album that I probably went crazy about was Twista’s Adrenaline Rush…And then I got into like Canibus. And Eminem came around. I think my favorite album is Jay Z’s Reasonable Doubt. So, I mean I think that album was probably like my foundation.”

In addition to Ab-Soul, ScHoolboy Q also expressed his frustration with the way in which Black Hippy was portrayed on the cover of XXL, calling it “disrespectful” during a November interview with MTV News.

“That’s so disrespectful, so disrespectful,” Q said. “We didn’t go into that shoot saying, ‘This is Kendrick with Black Hippy photo shoot for the cover.’ We went in there and said, ‘This is a Black Hippy shoot,’ so we expect a Black Hippy shoot.”

RELATED: Ab-Soul Addresses His Struggle Making Music, Explains His Pursuit Of Happiness


  • DJ Jazzy

    I can kind of see where Soulo is coming from on this, and Schoolboy Q as well. And for everyone hating on Soul for tossing out the possibility of leaving Black Hippy, Schoolboy has done this in the past too. They're all trying to push their own stuff more than that of the group, why we still haven't seen a full Black Hippy album. and I agree with that. Kendrick and now Schoolboy have taken off in popularity but Ab still remains relatively unknown to the casual radio rap listener, which kinda surprises me. I definitely think Ab is the best artist in TDE, no hate on the other guys i bump them all, but Ab the best lyricist, has the best flow, beats, and best catalog out there (seriously, Control System was dope, and every one of the Longterm titles have been stellar).

  • lowprofile

    although he makes sense, this could serve as a good look for the group to those who are not familiar with the group, lets face it Kendrick is a bigger household name than black hippy, to a suburban boy who only knows MTV and not familiar with black hippy, throwing the name "Kendrick" in the mix might even be what gets them to read the article in the first place keep in mind XXL only gives a fuck about magazine sales rather than the artist or music... either way you look at it, it's better promo as Kendrick & black hippy as opposed to black hippy alone

  • rere

    interviewer wearin a RITTZ shirt

  • gr1nb055

    Can't believe all you are hating on ab so much. There is no bad black hippy member and there is no need to have a list of success rather a list of favorites. If you're just listening to songs off their album you have heard only a small amount of their songs and their mixtapes/collaborations with other artists you're making a misguided judgement and not listening to the music very well.

  • therealwayno

    This article feels like dj vu.

  • Anonymous

    Actually Q is by far the worst, unless your counting Isaiah Rashad, who is wack as a mother fucker. Jay Rock has also been coming real weak as of late but at least he is signed to Strange. Ab is solid but he needs to quiet down.

  • steelez

    soul has no talent, he doesn't deserv eto be in Kendrick's label

  • rattle1

    chill soul, you're the worst artist in tde, you don't even deserve to sell albums

  • y

    AB Soul has always been the weakest link of black hippy tbh, wack lyrics, WACK flow, limited content... they shouldn't release his albums tbh

  • friberg

    I hope he leaves, hes wack.

  • Anonymous

    This clown just wants to be like Future

  • Anonymous

    Or much deeper than anything Jay ever released. Even with that. Glad you reached a higher level mentally than the wanna be.

  • Anonymous

    Or much deeper than anything Jay ever released.

  • Anonymous

    Reasonable doubt as your foundation. Sorry. Lost a little respect for you on that one. Never would suspect you would be a fan of Jay's little drug fantasy world. I could take 12 of your songs that you released that are much deeper than that fugazee album.

  • KingChandler

    I fuck with Soulo, I'd be heated too, it probably was just a combination of shit that led to those comments though, his new projects being shelved and whatever else behind the scenes shit he has going on. I do know one thing though, he tears a stage the fuck down live in concert though, saw him and Joey Bada$$ in Providence and they both put on a crazy show.

  • Make1

    I am a fan of TDE in the following order... *Ab-Soul *SchoolBoy-Q *Rock *Kendrick With that being said I have to point out how it APPEARS coming from the inside (member of TDE) to the outside (Fans, critics, etc). It APPEARS as if Ab is a little ....jealous (and I hate to use that word) of Kendrick's success. Yes, you all are black hippy but look at the tweets, the message forum comments, the WSHH comments and YouTube responses, a lot...I mean A LOT of people show support for Kendrick but ride to the death for Ab and SchoolBoy the most! It's easy to feel neglected, played or overlooked when Kendrick is being giving the torch by so many outlets and publications, although I am not a huge Kendrick fan, I congratulate his success. Now I can't end this without dropping some jewels to you all about publications... Music publications, in particular those publications which feature ONLY the "hottest" most "popping" acts, are in it ONLY for the money. Now don't get my views and words twisted... I know there are some writers and photographers who are music lovers and/or die hard hip hop heads, but for the most part the people running those publications do whatever makes money, they purposely spark controversy to drum up sales of they sub-par magazines. Ab soul is falling victim as well as SchoolBoy, Rock is the only member who didn't play into it and comes off as the team player. Even Kendrick slipped up on twitter and said some really reckless stuff before he deleted it. At the end of the day, y'all (TDE) is a team and only together can y'all remain successful is a major way. Sure, y'all can individually make success but together y'all can't set ya'lls own rules and such. Take examples of the groups that came prior to you all, especially the Wu-Tang who allowed these industry big wigs to get into their heads and cloud their visions, they were dominating while together but individually they struggled, all except RZA.

    • Make1

      @Anonymous, that's your personal opinion and I can accept that. but question is, can YOU out rap Ab-Soul since you think he is "the weak link of tde"? and if you think you can out rap him then please post your soundcloud, bandcamp and/or youtube page... I'll wait...

    • Anonymous

      ab soul the weak link of tde

  • Anonymous

    Ab is dumb for saying he will leave the group. Thats just probably what some exec wants so that they can get him into a deal elsewhere. Someone may even fear the pull the crew will have being independent and want to do whatever they can to dissolve it. Like a fool, he takes the bait and thinks about leaving instead of uniting stronger with his crew and having them demand their respect as a collective. SMH. Niggas never learn...

  • bdmi

    It was never Eazy E & N.W.A. Ice Cube & Westside Connection Joe Budden & Slaughterhouse Xzibit & Tha Alkoholiks RZA & The Wu Tang Clan Jadakiss & The Lox but it was Eminem & D12 50 & G Unit Kendrick Lamar & Black Hippy publicits these days are (50 Cent voice) So Disrespectful but they don't do it with La Coka Nostra do they!!!

  • Black De La Rocha

    Just like when magazines would say "Eminem & D12"

    • Royal

      In regards to people comparing it to Eminem and D12 OR 50 and G-Unit. Difference is, D12 was signed under Eminem's label, Shady Records. G-Unit was signed under 50's label. So in essence, 50 and Em were still their bosses. With Black Hippy, Kendrick Lamar is just an artist under TDE which is run by Top Dawg.

  • Anonymous

    this is what happens when talentless people get put into this position

  • Anonymous

    chill down ab-soul

  • Anonymous

    The cover should of either had Black Hippy or everyone's name.

  • 32teethand2feet


  • ab

    wha wha wha crying ass baby...say it with your chest lil nigga..seriously who cares freshman of 14..do something and get big like k dot and that can't ignore you..

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