Curtiss King, who gets a shout out from Ab-Soul on theThese Days…track he produced, says the “heaven ain’t far” reference speaks to their experience growing up.

“The struggle has been real,” King says in an exclusive interview with HipHopDX. “In our own worlds, for myself, in that area when I was coming up in Carson, you know, we looked at the middle between Compton and Long Beach, and Carson is the city that gets overlooked a lot but what I take from that is that heaven really ain’t far. You know everything that we dreamed of, everything that we want out this life is really right around the corner…I think this is sort of an inside thing that continues and a lot of fans are catching on…I think it’s just a personal touch he puts on things.”

Curtiss King says Ab-Soul has not changed in the time they’ve known one another.

“I saw him at the observatory about a month ago, a month and a half ago and dude is still the same dude,” King says. “Very humble, very appreciative of things around him and very aware, very intelligent dude. [As a] matter of fact the, song ‘Pineal Gland,’ I remember I drove out to Carson ’cause I live in Inland Empire now. I drove out to Carson to pick him up for a show in Dublin and he was like wrecking my brain about this ‘Pineal Gland’ thing and he kept talking about it, kept talking about ‘Pineal Gland’ and talking about what it was and at the time it was completely over my head, but I was trying to catch up to what he was talking about. Fast forward to Control System and ‘Pineal Gland’ ends up being one of his biggest songs on his album so it’s pretty much the same dude.

“As a lyricist, I feel like he’s definitely getting even crazier,” he adds. “As a songwriter he’s getting even crazier. You just see a lot more control of his craft and a control of an awareness of where he’s at in this game. I think that that just comes with the maturity and experience, so that’s the one thing I really noticed, but as an individual it’s the same dude.”

King says Soul’s work with him is a testament to the TDE emcee’s dedication.

“Him still continuing to work with a dude like me, when he has access to any producer that you can think of, me personally, I feel like it really shows when he’s dedicated to a sound, when he’s dedicated to building with people he really build with them,” he says. “Even with the way he interacts with fans if you ever get a chance to see him interact with fans on a face to face level it reminds me a lot of Murs because fans, it’s so emotional when they see him and some artists don’t give a damn. But he’ll actually sit there with them and talk them through the whole situation, what it is that they want to get answers even if they’re nervous and they can’t get the question out, he’s helping them get the question out. I remember when he was pushing Long Term Two and this was all over the blog sites you know he was still working at Magic Disc Music. I remember going in there and it’s the same dude. He’s just a really good dude who just loves Hip Hop just loves music and loves people.”

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