’12 Underrated Albums: #5 Ab-Soul Control System

control system-cover

On track one of Control System, Ab-Soul professed to being the underdog and secret weapon. That’s actually a fair assessment. As Top Dawg Entertainment’s most enigmatic artist, Soul announces his arrival with “Track Two” and shortly after, delivers a mean hook alongside Danny Brown on “Terrorist Threats”. He dumps a full clip on the Kendrick Lamar-featured “ILLuminate” and then surveys the damage with calm (“A Rebellion”, “Empathy”). It’s politics as usual and on “Beautiful Death”, The Black Lip Bastard turns his face at the status quo. The system was never meant to be controlled, but at least Soul makes it a noteworthy listen.

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  • 5 years ago XXL fired Elliott Wilson for to much dicksucking and he later had throat problems for swallowing too much sperm

    Really good album but it wasn’t really underrated it got great reviews and was The Source Magazine’s Independent Album Of The Year and the fans all loved it

    I have already put down some big bets that MMG will be in most of the top 5 best of list’s and when William puts out the title of his next album later it will be put in the top 5 posts and they will add Cassidy to the 50 Cent part of the site and blackball him

  • Showboat

    I’m still bumping this in the car.

    from a lyrical standpoint, even Kendrick himself feels Ab-Soul is on another level. Dude is sick and STILL has room to improve.

    Dude is definitely slept on.

    • B.Dot

      He gets overshadowed, but he’ll get some deserved shine eventually.

  • It’s the roc

    Agreed, this album was more underappreciated than underrated. But whatever, I’ll take it, let’s see the rest of the list. If this is 5, I’m interested to see what the others are.

  • Get Real

    Solo!!! This dude got heat for real.

  • This is funny hehe

  • It’s the roc

    Oh and great write up B.Dot. For as bad as Big Homies was, this was an excellent editorial. See, I’m not immune to giving props

    • B.Dot

      Big Homie’s wasn’t bad.

  • iamlegend24

    This was the best album of 2012 tde

  • Triple OG

    Ab-Soul best rapper alive. It’s ok if you won’t believe me right now, but you will. Trust me, you will.

  • JustMyOpinion

    I can’t front this release flew by me. I didn’t know when it dropped.

    • B.Dot

      That’s fair and honest. #props

  • shit was the first album ive ever purchased on itunes..

  • lilrizq

    Yeah dog dis was dope, off the cover alone he should got classic album status. Now look at this video I edited of my homie “The Voice”.

  • Big T

    This album is fantastic! Don’t forget about the track Book of Soul, a heartfelt song that touches on his own struggles and the death of alori Joh. It makes my girlfriend cry every time. Not many mcs have that power.

  • Kenny’s Dominos

    Great album, Book of Soul, Empahty, Rebellion, Terrorist Threats, Illumiante. SO MANY GREAT TRACKS.

  • Huhhhh

    Only #5 this tape was album of the year in my opinion. “the book of soul” was my track of the year.

  • Amsterdam2013

    Great album, beats kinda suck.

  • M.T

    this was one of the albums that i told myself i needed to check out but forgot. im abouta to get on that.

  • JReezy

    Soul Brother #2! Definitely one of my favorite albums of last year. I hope he blows up this year.

  • Aggie Pride

    Okay being underrated will it still be one of the top 10 albums of the year?

  • Ave

    Book of Soul is probably the realest song I’ve heard in a decade. This whole body of work is rediculous, from a creative, left-brain kind of approach. To the lyrical, in-your-face type of approach. GKMC is my top, but this is a very close 2nd. Maybe even 1A, 1B type of deal.

  • ESS

    this album is sick!!!!!! and so is aboul.. damn tde some talented niggas

  • Skip Dillenger

    @ Ave

    I agree. Soulo bared his soul with that track. “Longterm Mentality” and “Control System” are two underappreciated albums from an underappreciated artist. I really hope Ab-Soul, along with ScHoolboy Q and Jay Rock, get a fair opportunity to bring their creativity and styles to a larger audience and gain the same mass appeal that Kendrick Lamar seems to be on the path to reach. We need more diversity in mainstream Hip-Hop for it to flourish like it did in decades past, and Black Hippy is as diverse as it gets.

  • Hella slept on, my fav out of the whole black hippie click

  • yo soul idk if ull see this lol but yo way before oct 22 i was really startin to listen to kendrick started studyin the niggas music man . then u and q jay rock .. niggaz relle dk how real this tde movement truly is man.. ima keep it short but yo ur shyt is incredibly dope all i ask is u continue to drop musik. if all u niggaz dropped on the same day im coppin all ur albums LEGALLY bet lol i copped section 80 and gkmc got all u niggas mixtapes man yo im high and rambling son lol yoo tdeee HIIIIIIIIIPOWWWERRRRRRR !

  • lol and yo anyone not fuckin wit this movement my opinion at this point i think ur lyin lol yo im sorry these motherfuckers are the evolution of niggas like pac big l pun seriously man al u niggaz gotta get ya ears checked man this is y i say fuck ur opinion cuz ur opinions i feel dont hold no weight unfortunately. i cant tell for sure of course but its like a gut feelin cuz wen ppl express hate its short and sour always cuz theres no real body to it …and yo pro era joey badass that whole movement too that shit is fuckin crazy too man asap fuckin krit action bronson jay electronica(ppl i feel dont relle no how nice he is ) i cud keep goin lol damn motherfuckers i hope u haters convert ur religion and start listenin really relly fuckin listening im cryin out to the ignortant lol please man if u aint ignorant no need to get offended by none of this haa

  • Beatrice

    The album wasn’t exactly underrated but it is brilliant. The Book of Soul almost made me cry real tears. R.I.P. Alori 🙁

  • Now this is the definition of underrated. Bohemian Grove was my summertime shit!

  • Sean G

    Ab-Soul is one of the nicest artist from the west i’ve heard in a long time.

    i mean lets be honest, all of TDE artist is Hot!! Control Systems caught me by surprised tho. Every Track up there was a banger. My favorite is Bohemian Grove & Mixed Emotions. Cant take away from Track #2, Book of Soul, Illuminate, Double Standard, Empathy & Rebellion. 10/10 in My Book.


  • jesus

    met him in 2010 after he opened up for murs

  • Dashing

    “Bohemian Grove” is that joint though. Only thing disappointing about this means that this album won’t be in your Top 10 list for albums of the year and it’s def waaay better than Meek’s disppointing debut album, Game’s collabo-filled album, and T.I’s disappointing album, but they’ll surely make that list..

  • Dashing

    Oh and “Book of Soul” is one of the most emotional rap songs I’ve heard since “All That I Got is You” but much MUCH more personal.

  • pluck43

    Book of Soul is the saddest song

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