TDE has had a huge year thus far; from the well-received debut album releases of SZA and Isaiah Rashad to the major success of ScHoolBoy Q's major label debut LP Oxymoron, TDE has established itself as a staple in the hip-hop business. Now that ScHoolBoy Q has gotten his share of the spotlight and success that Kendrick has experienced in the past, up next to get their own share is none other then Black Hippy's premier lyricist Ab Soul. Soul, as far as mainstream success goes, has not generated any smash hits; despite this Soul is undeniably one of the most talented rappers in the hip-hop game. With wordplay that would give the likes of Nas and Eminem a run for their money, Soul has the unique capability to transcend the concept of the rap song with his heavy and enlightening words. In anticipation of his upcoming major label LP debut These Days…, Soul has been releasing a stream of new material with "Tree of Life" and now "Stigmata", which features Action Bronson and Asaad.
"Stigmata" is an exceedingly strong track that does a phenomenal job of showcasing Soulo's impeccable ability at delivering powerful messages. Rahki and TDE's in house producer MixedByAli create a canvas in the form of a bumping beat for Soul to paint over with his poignant and powerful words. On the track Soulo preaches about how blessed he is as he raps, " You took my Grandpa job and gave me a job/Not just a physical but digital way of displaying my rhymes/and making these kind people pay a fine/ I've been through a lot, I deserve a lot, this works fine". The lyrics are very putting seeing that track's title, Stigmata, is a reference to the bodily injuries that one endures as a result of being crucified. This adds to the recurring theme of Jesus Christ that Soul has embedded in his musical identity. Bronson and Asaad add their own styles to the track, Bronson with his one-of-a-kind wordplay and Asaad with his insightful allusions. The combination of the three make for a memorable track that sets the tone for what is to come from Soul in the future.
With tracks like "Tree of Life" and "Stigmata", Ab Soul is bound to catch a lot of attention with the release of These Days…, an amount of attention that is due fully deserved. Make sure to keep up on all of Ab Soul's releases by following TDE on Soundcloud.
- Top Dawg Ent.