Growing Up in California

Ab-Soul: “I'm from Carson, California. Carson would definitely be considered a suburb. I was far from poor but far from rich: I had food in the fridge but I was pretty much broke in other aspects. It was a very humbling experience growing up. I didn’t get too much good, didn’t get too much bad. It was a nice balance of emotion or experiences growing up. Just humbled by my maturing.

“My parents owned a record store called Magic Disc Music and I had to go there every day after school. I worked there my whole life. We closed it last April. For a long time it was just something that my mom sold, it was just our business, so I didn't really care for it. I didn't understand the big deal about it, it was something we sold for money. It was my mom's job. Somewhere along the line, with my love and compassion for words and stories, I found a collection of music.

"We had to listen to music all day long, so my mom wasn't playing music when we got home. I wasn't learning about music that way. We were only playing popular music in the store. We couldn't really play too much rap and hip-hop. Instead, they played R&B, jazz, gospel, blues, and reggae. You couldn't really play too much hip-hop because of the profanity.

"We took a huge fall [from downloading]. But they were in business. My grandpa has been in the record business since the ‘60s, so he had a pretty decent run. My grandpa, he moved out here from Mississippi and he opened up a shop. As his brothers came out here to California from Mississippi, he would sell them a shop. One of my uncles is responsible for the VIP chain in L.A. and the VIP At Last in Long Beach that’s still standing. That's my uncle's store.”