Talib Kweli has cemented himself as one of the best and brightest MCs in hip-hop history so when he speaks glowingly about a fellow artist, it’s a major compliment on the rapper’s body of work. After the release of Ab-Soul’s These Days…, Kweli wrote a review of the project for The Talkhouse, a website that allows artists to share their thoughts on their colleagues’ work.
In the review, the Brooklyn-MC declares himself a big TDE fan and that his son was the first person to turn his attention toward Soulo:
When I was signed to Warner Brothers, Jay Rock was my labelmate. I got to see how the Top Dawg crew moved back then, and I was impressed. A couple of years later, a pre-Interscope Kendrick Lamar visited my home studio with LA group U-N-I, and I knew he was a force to be reckoned with. However, my son, 16 years old at the time, said that Ab-Soul was the member of TDE that he really liked. In fact, when Ab-Soul and Jay Rock stopped by to record with me one night, my son was starstruck. He wanted to hang out in the studio but there was far too much weed smoke in the air.
My son got me into Ab-Soul, and the mixtape “Longterm 2: Lifestyles of the Broke & Almost Famous” was my favorite project. Soulo was able to exist in the industry and see the world with Kendrick, yet somehow maintain his everyman presence on every track. What set him apart was how much he refused to stunt, and his focus on the similarities between himself and regular folks rather than the differences. I was interested to see how that would play out once people start checking for Ab-Soul more and he has a bigger roll-out. Schoolboy got a chance to have his moment. Ab-Soul would be next.
From there, Kweli waxes poetically about his admiration of These Days… and declares Ab-Soul as one of the more important lyricists in the game.