Album Review of Do What Thou Wilt. by Ab-Soul.
Release Date: Dec 9, 2016
Record label: Top Dawg
“And Christ died at 33, and she at 33/And she was born on two eleven; that’s a robbery/Damn, she done stole my heart from me,” are bars that sum up all there is to know about Ab-Soul’s fourth full-length solo album, Do What Thou Wilt. Highlighted on the track “Womanogamy,” Soulo uses the life/death duality and police code terminology in metaphorically describing his complex relationship with the opposite sex. Call it a drug-induced blanket statement or deeper testimonial thinking; whatever.
After winning over hip-hop scholars with Control System in 2012, Ab-Soul didn't impress quite as much with These Days. . .
Occultist and ceremonial magician Aleister Crowley once said “I slept with faith and found a corpse in my arms on awakening; I drank and danced all night with doubt and found her a virgin in the morning. ” Parsing this opaque statement reveals it was just Crowley’s cryptic, verbose way of devaluing faith and championing skepticism; a fake-deep principle demeaning the moralist position, the “Gotta Hear Both Sides” of a pseudo-cerebral ideology. It also reads like an Ab-Soul bar these days.
Existing within the TDE crew can come with its ups and downs – just ask Ab-Soul. The Carson, Calif. native was revered as one of the crew’s most promising acts circa 2012, but after the release of his 2014 album, These Days…, critics were writing him off as the crew’s token bench warmer but fans new he had more to offer. When Kendrick Lamar and ScHoolboy Q took their respective careers to new heights, Jay Rock remained an OG staple and even newer artists on the Top Dawg Entertainment roster like SZA and Isaiah Rashad made poignant projects, Soul still remained a giant question mark.