His Love for Jay-Z
Ab-Soul: “My favorite rapper of all time is Jay-Z hands down. For sure, I probably have been the most inspired by him lyrically. It doesn't feel like it's jocking or biting [when I quote Jay-Z in my rhymes]. It's not. Being a fan of hip-hop, just what I've seen done time and time again.
“I'm 25 now man, I try to remember that. I'm 25 now. I see myself with those guys, so I just want everybody to know that that's how I feel. When you speak of me I want you to speak of me amongst them. That's the only statement that I'm trying to make. But at the same time you incorporate the lyrics.
I hope Jay gets a chance to hear it. If he is who I think he is, then he should understand exactly what I intended to do with that. I was paying homage but letting him know, we coming. You got some new young cats on your heels now. That's all.
"Everybody is talking about my Jay-Z line off ‘Illuminate’ but, the majority of the song was inspired by Jay-Z. If you're a big fan of Jay-Z you can hear it. That's what it was about. And I hope Jay gets a chance to hear it. If he is who I think he is, then he should understand exactly what I intended to do with that. I was paying homage but letting him know, we coming. You got some new young cats on your heels now. That's all.
"To me it's cliché to ask people to rap in particular in interviews. You go to Funkmaster Flex, he's famous for dropping the bombs on exclusive freestyles. I just went to Sway in the Morning, he's known for you going up there and showing your skills. [When someone unknown asks me to freestyle] I appreciate the look, but you just going to ask me to rap because you think it's cool and I'm going to give you a dope rhyme. [Instead, I spit Jay-Z verses.]
"[But no one ever calls me out on it], that's why Jay is the best. For real. People love that I did that. People look forward to me doing that next time. It’s mandatory that you go in there and do your stuff [if you’re on Flex]. But if you was to ask me to rap right now...”