Ab-Soul talks about his fascination with the Illuminati, taking notes from the greats, and the honesty of rapping without a lyrics sheet.
Ab-Soul's following continues to grow, despite his lack of releases since 2012's dense Control System. In an interview with the Miami New Times, Soulo explained why the project continues to gain him followers, as well as speaking on the blatant honesty that comes with refraining from writing rhymes down, and the knowledge he's been able to acquire through listening to hip hop alone.
Read some excerpts from the sit-down below.
Why do you think there's been a gradual but continuous increase in fans and listeners when it's been close to a year and a half since Control System?
I think Control System is a lot. It's a lot of words. It's a lot of content. It's probably going to take the mass quite some time to fully figure it out, to fully grasp the whole concept. I plan continue to grow just off of Control System alone, as I have.
What's the greatest challenge you've faced since deciding to rap without writing down your lyrics?
The most difficult thing for me, sometimes, is that honesty might be a little brutal for a lot of people. You feel what I'm saying? A lot of the things that I say might offend a lot of my friends, even my fam. That's probably the most difficult thing, just having the balls to say what I want to say at the expense of someone else.
Do you find that sometimes you may bite your tongue in the slightest because of that?
Hmm ... Not really. I'm mindful of everything that comes out of my mouth. That's all I can really say to that. I think I say everything I want to say, though. I find a way to say everything I want said.
Who first introduced you to your views of an elitist world-economic structure or groups such as Illuminati?
Shit, man, probably hip-hop. [Laughs] Probably heard about the Illuminati through hip-hop to be honest with you. I've learned most of the things I know through hip-hop music, you know what I'm saying? You listen to Jay Z and Nas and you'll learn a whole lot.
Is there a double-standard with your views on a group such as Illuminati while being on a growing label and looking up to a man such as Jay Z who is continuously rumored to be in Illuminati?
The Internet is a big place, you know what I mean? The world is a big place, people sharing ideas. The root word of Illuminati is illuminate. It means to be enlightened.
What was your reaction when Jay Z responded to your tweet a few months back?
Shit, I shed a tear. What you expect? He was not supposed to hit me back. [Laughs] He was not supposed to hit me back. I was with the homies shooting craps in the hood. That was crazy.