The TDE rapper took to Instagram on Wednesday (January 25) to share a video of him and LeBron chatting behind the scenes at the Crypto.com Arena, where the four-time NBA champion helped the Los Angeles Lakers to a 113-104 win over the San Antonio Spurs.
During their conversation, Ab-Soul asked King James if he’d be willing to take on an executive role for his next project — to which the basketball legend obliged.
“You really the right of passage,” Soulo said. “Top [Dawg] told me to ask you if you would A&R the next album.”
LeBron responded without hesitation: “Yeah, I can do that.”
LeBron revealed his surprise at the fact, before complimenting Soul’s new album and gifting him his game-worn sneakers.
LeBron James previously praised Ab-Soul’s HERBERT on Twitter just days after it was released in December.
“Ab-Herbert-Soul is so COLD MAN!!!!!!!!!” he wrote at the time. “[Fire] project G.”
Soulo responded: “Need them floor seats King!!! Get @dangerookipawaa on the phone.”
LeBron has kept HERBERT in rotation, recently posting a video of him rapping along to “Message in a Bottle” while getting a fresh cut at the barbershop on his Instagram Stories.
“I helped him put the tracklist together, sequencing, which songs should flow: which song should be first, which one should be last, how to end the album, what should fall in the middle,” he told Vanity Fair at the time. “Executive producer was kind of a title that was given to me. He asked if I wanted to executive produce his album, and I was like, ‘What does that entail?’
“He said, ‘I want you to be part of the process. I want you to be part of the tracklist process.’ He told me, ‘I see how much of a wide range of music you love; how you talk about how great music is, different artists that we know, artists that no one’s ever heard of—it’s pretty cool, and I want you to be part of the process.'”
LeBron also played a role in the release of Kendrick Lamar’s untitled unmastered in 2016. Following K. Dot’s performance of “09.21.2014” at the Grammy Awards, the NBA star told Top Dawg to drop more unreleased songs from the To Pimp a Butterfly sessions.
“Yo @dangerookipawaa after that @kendricklamar Grammy performance, you have to release those untitled tracks asap!!!” he tweeted at the time. “What’s up? Talk to me.”
Just over a week later, untitled unmastered. was out in the world.
“When you get somebody like LeBron asking for them, it’s like, ‘Alright, maybe it is bigger than we think it is,’” TDE producer Sounwave told Complex. “That’s when Top got on the phone asking me and K. Dot to pick out our favorite records.”