Ab-Soul, Control System

Jayson Greene

By Jayson Greene

on 12.03.12 in Reviews

Ab-Soul is the resident word-nerd of Black Hippy, the rap crew that includes the Dr. Dre-anointed young rap prince Kendrick Lamar and the brooding, heavy-lidded, ex-Crip leader Schoolboy Q. He’s easily the most cerebral of a fairly brainy crew, and on the ferociously excellent Control System, he produces an immersive, dark and wide-ranging piece of work that takes listeners to Saturn and Andromeda (“Pineal Gland”), sardonically salutes Obama as a “puppet” (“Terrorist Threat”), breaks our heart with a devastating first-person tale of young love and loss (“The Book of Soul”), puffs out some post-Tribe Called Quest weed clouds (“Bohemian Grove”) and oh, also finds room for a sex joke as goofy as “She got that magical vag/ Let me hocus poke.”