Label: Top Dawg Entertainment
From: Carson, California
Active Since: 2009
Best Known Song: "Illuminate" f/ Kendrick Lamar (2012)
Referred to as the genius of the Black Hippy crew by fellow members Schoolboy Q and Kendrick Lamar, Ab-Soul has been getting shine because of his sharp wordplay, his ability to speak on real topics, and just all-around being "that dude." He's been releasing material for years, and his most recent effort Control System is one of this year's highlights.
The album finds him speaking on world politics ("Terrorist Threats"), spitting braggadocio ("Illuminate"), or doing both at once ("Black Lip Bastard" (Remix)). His other verses are nothing to sleep on either (check "Ab-Soul's Outro" on Section.80). The Black Hippy crew are all young, gifted, and still on the rise, which fortunately for us means more Ab-Soul.