Ab-Soul is just one of the few members within the TDE crew which also includes well-known rappers such as Kendrick Lamar and Schoolboy Q. After his last album These Days . . ., many didn’t know what to expect for any of his future works and they often claimed he was the bench-warmer of the group.
I was first introduced to Ab-Soul's music in 2012 with the release of his second album Control System. This album showcased what he was capable of doing and is great from start to finish. So once I heard he had another album being released, Do What Thou Wilt, I had to listen to it. The album consists of sixteen tracks and features a number of guests, including Schoolboy Q, Mac Miller, and Black Hippy.
The album starts off great with Ab-Soul throwing jab after jab towards other rappers, such as Jay Electronica, in the opening song “RAW (backwards),” featuring Zacari. The aggression he brings to the song, along with his delivery, makes for a great way to grab the listener’s attention.
He continues on with lighter aggression in the next two songs and once again begins to throw punches in “Threatening Nature.” The lyrical breakdown of this song makes the listener’s mind wander. He constantly brings up his beliefs on everyday debatable topics from racism to sexism and opens the listener’s mind to new thoughts. This makes the album more accessible to the listeners. It also encourages additional listens.
In the song “Beat the Case,” featuring Schoolboy Q, he is able to flip his words and show his writing abilities. For example, he says, “A criminal’s best asset is his lie ability.” However this song has many different elements. It consists of many highs and many lows that can catch the listener off guard, leading to a great listen where you don’t know what to expect.
The album slows at songs like “Womanogamy” and “Wifey vs. WiFi,” yet not too drastically. The beginning of the album is great and slows at theses two tracks, but picks up soon after.
The overall album has a very dark tone and showcases Ab-Soul’s abilities as a lyricist. Throughout the whole album he creates some of the catchiest hooks with great production. He is able to give this dark tone while at the same time speak of his beliefs. After this album, critics clearly will not see him as the bench-warmer of the group as they did once before.