"Don't be dethroned by these systems of control. Just keep your fingers crossed and get them locks off your soul. " wise words from a man repping Carson, California. These words serve as a summation of the underlying theme within Ab-soul's body of work, Control System; also as a summation of how I was able to internalize all of what was said in this album...
In turn, the album itself was the heavy influence that helped me develop my mind, spirit and body. Back when I had my first few listens, everything seemed to be more straight-forward.
At the time the, dope bars and the depth in a new perspective with an absolutely unique twist, to say the least, would have been enough to have my mind wrapped around and digesting all the content. It was the connection to questions and ideologies that Ab-Soul pushed that made me listen deeper and draw my own conclusions based on everything going on that I saw play out in reality. It was also some of the first times that I heard things being mentioned that I thought about and had questions about, whether it was conscious or subconsciously. The government (everyone’s favorite), stereotypes, the brain, consciousness and deeper inner battles are things that I was able to listen to from someone else’s POV as I was on my own path of thought provoking clarity as well. Now you may be wondering something like “well shit, people have rapped about this shit before.” and yes I will acknowledge that you are right in that regard and will also say back to you that to me it was the complete body of work and the completeness of it all that had me going back each time. It connected with me and maybe for any other 16 year old who considered himself a thinker, it would have too
With a mix with my first taste of psychedelic rap with "Pineal Gland", smooth sounding "Bohemian Grove", dope as fuck "Illuminate", "SOPA" and transparent view into Ab-Souls inner views with"Terrorist Threats" all on one project, I was hooked. Although, no song was more honest, touching, personal, and just flat out unique like Book of Soul. My man "should have been traumatized", but he's aight. About five minutes of this complete transparency though Soulo’s shades would be enough to have someone reconsider how many of their problems are actually challenging. To me this song in itself is an embodiment of Ab-Soul in a nutshell. Vibrant, smooth, honest, challenging. impeccable, and untouchable with the words in his rhyme book.
In no way can I also forget to mention that it was also the bars that Soulo keep me hooked the most.This was actually the project that had me saying 'Damn. This man might my favorite rapper from Black Hippy.' and that's saying something when considering at the time KDot had just come off GKMC (I listened to Control System post GKMC release.) The intricate, compelling, and unfiltered lyricism is what, to me, cemented Soulo as the guy to beat in TDE. Taking nothing away from Kendrick, Soul just had that extra oomph that he brought to each track that separated him from the rest of the group. The manner in which he can be saying some simple things is all it takes sometimes to have it work and for this guy, it works. Since then the squad has grown and become more versatile and reached throughout the music spectrum, but even to this day I can't help but get excited for when Ab-soul drops a new track, feature, or album.
Through his journey throughout this album, he showed and spoke on not giving a fuck about those limitations set out forth by the world and doing what you can to get yourself on a higher level and question every norm in your way. It is something that I took as a stepping stone to make my next step. Being 16 at the time, I had already figured out myself that a lot of what is already out here is a bunch of bullshit in the way of truth and my eyes were able and apt to notice it. Whether it came to being hesitant in trusting the government, not confining myself into a box based on the majority views and habitual group think, or simply believing that things were satisfactory, it was all that I took notice on. Control System really helped me visualize a path that I could walk down on and it was the foundation for helping me stay true and above all else take control of all that I can.