Herbert Anthony Stevens IV (born February 23, 1987), better known by his stage name Ab-Soul, is an American hip hop recording artist from Carson, California. In 2007, he signed to indie record label Top Dawg Entertainment (TDE), where he eventually formed a hip hop supergroup Black Hippy, alongside his label-mates and fellow California-based rappers Jay Rock, Kendrick Lamar and Schoolboy Q. He is perhaps best known for his introspective lyrics and his three independent albums under TDE, Longterm Mentality, Control System and These Days..., which were all released to acclaimed reviews and commercial success. He's just a youngin from Del Amo.
Soulo's first tape, released in January of 2009, shortly after being signed to TDE. He claims it is the first in a series of 4, and that two of them are still to be released.
Long Term 2: Lifestyles of the Broke and Almost Famous
Soulo's second tape, sequel to it's predecessor Long Term, was released on June 28, 2010. It is a highly acclaimed tape (4.9 stars on hotnewhiphop.com suckaaas) and started pushing him towards the spotlight. Many fans consider this as one of his best projects, second only to Control System.
Long Term Mentality
Ab-Soul's debut album, released April 5, 2011 through Top Dawg Entertainment. Soulo drew influences heavily from his Black Hippy family and put together what he considers his "two cents" on the topics while being his own individual artist as well.
This is the big one. Ab-Soul's sophomore album, Control System, was released on May 11, 2012. It was critically acclaimed by many major sites (83/100 on Metacritic) and reached #9 on the Billboard Rap Albums chart. It is often seen as his best project from hip hop fans. Personally, there's so many good tracks on this album and it was one of the first rap albums I ever listened to, so it means a lot to me.
These DaysThese Days ain't seen my best
. On June 24th, 2014, Ab-Soul's junior album These Days
was released. Peaking at #11
on the Billboard 200 chart and #1
on the rap charts, it sold a decent amount for it's first week. Fans were displeased, however. Many thought the album did not nearly live up to the expectations said by it's predecessor. It ranks 70/100 on Metacritic, 13 points lower than Control System
. As time passed, though, many agree that there are a few very good tracks but the bad ones often outweigh them in the mind of the hip hop fan.
Do What Thou Wilt
Soulo's forth album was released on December 9th, 2016. Singles such as Huey Knew
had fans conservatively hopeful that this will be another classic by Soul. So far the general consensus is that Soul has done it again with another classic.