Top Dawg Entertainment, or TDE as it is casually referred to, is an independent record label from Carson, California and although it is unusual a label roster that has signed only seven artists, the talent that is housed under the company gives competition to any major label around. With Kendrick Lamar, the Compton native who went from seeing his idol 2Pac shoot a music vitdegroup_issue1511deo to rocking stages and being considered the leader of the new school, ScHoolboy Q, the fun loving, drug crazed gangster rapper from South Central, and Jay Rock, the lyrical, but soulful gangster rapper that parallels ScHoolboy Q perfectly.
In recent years, the label has signed artists that helped the label spread further with Isaiah Rashad, the down south, wise beyond his years’ rapper from Chattanooga, SZA, the ambient songstress from New Jersey who is one of the artists reviving neo soul, and newly signed Lance Skiiiwalker, the lovable down on his luck singer from Chicago, but we’re writing about one of the integral part of the label and its highly acclaimed collective Black Hippy. On December 9th, Top Dawg’s resident social activist/drug lover Ab-Soul from Carson, released his fourth studio album, Do What Thou Wilt.. It has been over two years since Soulo released his last album, These Days…. Soul has been vocal about his output, which has been greatly appreciated absoulby his fan base, and the time between his releases. On this project, Soul show appreciation for women by referencing prominent female deities from mythology, talking about Hilary’s loss in the election and begging the age-old question, is God a woman? The first song starts the album off with bang, with a hook that shows Soul is not taking any prisoners. In the song, Soul brings up his tension with Troy Ave’s jokes about the late Capital STEEZ because of his beef with Joey Bada$$, and comes for Jay Electronica, a rapper he has shown great reverence for, because his comments on Kendrick Lamar right around the time nominees for the Grammys were being released. This is something that is not very common, and is rap’s version of Camelo Anthony versus Kawhi Leonard, a matchup between a well-known and highly acclaimed new superstar goes up against a highly regarded veteran that has been for years. The second song, Braille, shows a change of pace for Soul, but is highly appreciated. As a regular goal of TDE, the artists do their best to challenge themselves on each release, and Soul does just that on this album. Soul’s forte is usually slow and dark beats, but handles absouljayelecWondaGurl’s production with ease which shows that even though Soul can be socially conscious and theological, he can make a banger that can rival the best of them. Other highlights are Threatening Nature, the song that Soul challenges the common sexism women can endure on a regular basis, Womanogamy, where Soul goes left field and collaborates with Eardrummers Records’ producer DJ FU, Wifey vs. WiFi, where Soul talks about squabbles a man run into when dating or having a baby mama, and Beat the Case, the song where Soul and Q brag about their ease when dealing legal battles.

Is this your favorite project from Ab-Soul? If you haven’t heard it yet,  listen to the lead single “Threatening Nature” and leave comments in the space below.

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