Review Summary: The brightest silver lining.
Ab-Soul has always been the most underappreciated and overlooked of the famed Black Hippy crew. Kendrick of course is the apple of everyone’s eye, Schoolboy Q has been coming into his own as of late with Blank Face LP
and Jay Rock’s more classic west coast style has always gotten a fair amount of love. That leaves Ab-Soul, who seems to be the odd one out of the bunch. Whatever it is he hasn’t gotten quite the same traction as his colleagues and the disappointing 2014 release These Days…
didn’t help things. Ab-Soul’s different approach to lyricism didn’t play well to features either but Do What Thou Wilt.
for the most part brings back the seemingly far-gone glory days of Control System
Ab-Soul’s thought-provoking, abstract lyricism and wordplay shine wonderfully on the album. His lyrics are always quirky with interesting rhyming schemes that showcase his personality. He usually doesn’t go deep on an emotional level, instead rapping about out there topics like the occult and conspiracies along with throwing in a fair amount of biblical references. His wordplay is second to none and references are unique, combining out there topics while being very meta. This combined with the other main strength of the album, the production, really makes for something special. The beats are dark, brooding and atmospheric channeling Ab-Soul’s depressed energy and really work well with his unique style of lyricism. Features for the most part are underwhelming and don’t add much, the one exception unsurprisingly being Schoolboy Q who always slays on his features and really makes the song his own. Ab-Soul continues the Black Hippy tradition of having phenomenal and catchy hooks which are up there as some of the best of the year along with Schoolboy Q’s Blank Face LP
. Soulo's stilted almost in and out delivery really add to the album and is pretty unique. The glaring con on Do What Thou Wilt.
is quite obvious, it’s the length. An hour and 17 minutes is far too long for an album like this and it doesn’t help that there are a few duds on here that should’ve obviously been cut like “Wifey vs WiFi”. The last two songs as well feel out of place and disconnected from the rest of the album opting for a more upbeat and poppy style. While not bad songs, they should’ve been left on the cutting room floor or at least being bonus tracks.
With Ab-Soul once again releasing a quality album, the Black Hippy crew is in full force. There would seemingly not be a better time to start working on the crown jewel of modern hip-hop, a Black Hippy collab album, with all members currently in full stride. Will we ever see the album? It’s impossible to say but Ab-Soul has once again shown to be a force of his own whose unique skillset offers a lot to work with.