My Story by Ab-Soul

I’m influenced by everybody and everything. My philosophy doesn’t have a backbone. A backbone is a matter.

I have interest in everything. I want to travel the world. I want to touch the grounds of great people. Of course, the religious leader or philosopher who I felt a distinctive connection to is Jesus. But I would recommend people to read The Celestine Prophecy.

I wrote my first rap when I was 12 years old and I’ve been doing it ever since then. I grew up in a record shop. A family-owned record shop called Magic Disc Music. I was selling music a lot, so I had no choice but to come across rap culture. As somebody who sold music, I remember specifically when 2Pac passed. That was crazy. I was real young, but you could kind of see and look at who was coming to get a 2Pac CD. They were crying. It was deep.

When I think about it, these days I kind of listen to everybody. I really don’t like to narrow it down these days and just list certain names. I really been listening to everything, honestly. I think I’ve brushed across a little bit of everything. Definitely because of my family. I don’t listen to, like, a specific genre. I just like what I like, you know what I mean?

I just like a lot of stuff. I just want to keep my perception neutral. I don’t want to hold anybody else on a higher plane than anyone else. But I’ve always had aspirations of becoming an artist and becoming an MC. As a kid, I wanted to mold myself like Jay-Z. I did have a line about running laps around him. I feel like I could. And that’s just it: You can do anything.
I remember the other Freshman covers. The one who stood out to me was Kendrick Lamar. He was tight. He had the Compton crewneck on with the Rolex chain. That was hard.

It’s tight being a XXL Freshman. Especially with my labelmate, friend, brother, Schoolboy. Yeah.

On our way here we were like, “I hope they let us smoke in here.” Real talk that. If I couldn’t smoke in here, this would be tough. Real talk. And not even especially because it’s in New York. It’s like, you guys know that we smoke. So please have somewhere we could smoke some weed. It’s cold out here. So XXL, thank you. I appreciate it, for real. Glad to be here.

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