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The 50 Best Albums of 2012 (So Far)

17. Ab-Soul, Control System

Label: Top Dawg Entertainment
Released: May 11th

Ab Soul's Control System often teeters on the brink of “Jay-Z is in the Illuminati” screeds, but never goes there. Why would it? Ab would rather challenge Jay for his throne and besides, we all know the Illuminati is the biggest racist party. Instead, Ab's latest album is a focused effort that always hinges on a disillusionment with the American dream and the wariest of eyes on all institutions.

Lyrically, Ab has some of the most unique diction amongst active rappers (it's no wonder Schoolboy Q calls him a “human dictionary”) but what's really surprising is how catchy and accessible the hooks are. Ab spits plenty of clever lines throughout the album, but his most revealing one comes on the first track: “Said I was the underdog, turns out I'm the secret weapon.”

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