L.A. rapper Ab-Soul comes out of the same Black Hippy collective that's produced platinum star Kendrick Lamar and gritty chart-topper Schoolboy Q. With a rep as the crew's most cerebral member, Ab-Soul works a warm underdog weirdness over heavy-lidded beats on his third album. He rarely strives for the depth of Lamar or the intensity of Q; there's plenty of clever imagery on These Days . . . ("Residue on my debit card/Don't tell my moms," he rhymes on "Ride Slow"), but a fully realized dude never quite comes into focus.
From The Archives Issue 1215: August 14, 2014