ab soul

Ab Soul - Nibiru

ab soul tde
Written by yours truly and originally published at Passionweiss

Ab-Soul stunts with the ancient gods and turns his on Mesopotamian swag. Each TDE member is releasing a new song this week and he follows Jay Rock’s “YOLA” with raps about aliens, pyramids, and conspiracies. If you’re not part of the hip-hop star-gazer society or you don’t wear a lab coat over your Wu Forever shirt, you probably didn’t know “Nibiru” is named after a concept in Babylonian astronomy. It’s something obscure about the highest point in the sun’s path around the earth, which I can barely understand and I doubt Soul fully grasps. His real name is Herbert Anthony Stevens IV though, and that would make an excellent alias for a spectacled professor who spends his time in dusty libraries reading books longer than the Bible.

A Middle-eastern female vocal repeats during “Nibiru” and it sounds similar to the classic Ofra Haza loop on Eric B & Rakim’s “Paid and Full” (Coldcut Remix.) This is a unique track and its subject matter guarantees you won’t be hearing it in a club or car sound system any time soon. Soulo spits enough spiritual and paranormal references to make Jay Electronica assume the lotus position. The black lipped one also mentions wacky conspiracy theories about the Illuminati and fallen angels, which the unemployed and underage will enjoy debating in the Youtube comments section.

Like he hinted on Control System earlier in the year, which featured the Kabbalah’s Tree of Life as cover art, Ab Soul is clearly interested in the esoteric. That makes him 100 times cooler or geekier depending on your feelings toward Aleister Crowley and sun spirits named Marduk who throw lightning bolts.

Ab Soul - Empathy ft JaVonte and Alori Joh

Ab Soul takes a break from rapping about pills and dirty Sprite to channel the spirit of OG Nate Dogg. The Black Hippy grooves while ringing a booty call, tries his best to look like Wish Bone and wears sunglasses in the dark. With help from TDE affiliate JaVonte, Soulo sings a mellow tune and proves he’s more than a drug rap visionary.
He briefly adds a few double-time bars to “Empathy” but mostly sticks to surprising you with smooth vocals. This isn’t an R&B croon-fest though. Brief psychedelic visuals and hypnotic repetition of the track title makes the song a little more unsettling than Chris Brown without handcuffs. This slow jam also comes with an important message: let Ab Soul hit it and he might spend that $700 a show money on you.
Empathy also features Ab-Soul’s close friend Alori Joh, who passed away a few months ago. She was 25, attractive and appeared on several TDE releases. RIP Alori. If you’re chilling with Nate Dogg, can you tell him to swap places with French Montana?