Ab-Soul: Control System

One of the biggest weaknesses of up and coming MCs is their one dimensional talent, which often leaves the listener bored after just a few listens. Members of Top Dawg Entertainment’s Black Hippy, on the other hand, do not have this problem whatsoever. Anyone who has been following the California crew knows they have been making big moves as of late, namely, signing with Aftermath/Interscope. Now following the release of his fellow MCs critically acclaimed albums (Kendrick Lamar’s Section.80, Jay Rocks’ Follow Me Home and ScHoolboy Q’s Habits & Contradictions), Ab-Soul attempts to follow suit with Control System.

Production: 9/10

Long time Top Dawg collaborators digi+phonics (Soundwave, Tae Beast and Willie B) should receive just as much recognition as the MC’s they produce for. A major contribution to the success of the Top Dawg albums have been the outstanding production and mixing (courtesy of MixedbyAli), providing the young rappers with a signature sound, not conforming with the Lex Luger and JUSTICE League beats flooding the industry. This is sound is one that is not easy to describe. It’s backpack meets gangsta rap, even though Soul doesn’t really fit into either category. Everything from piano to 808s, classical instruments and some of the best samples I’ve heard from anyone not named Kanye.