Ab-Soul keeps a bit of a lower profile compared to the rest of the crew at TDE, but that doesn't mean he's any less insightful when he does get his time in the spotlight. Soul has worked closely alongside Kendrick Lamar for years—the man got his own outro on 2011's Section. 80—so he knows a hell of a lot about the creative process for a Kendrick project.
During an interview with the people at Montreality, Soul explained the mindset behind Damn, Kendrick's critically-acclaimed and commercially-dominant album that released in 2017. After explaining he and Kendrick are like Ken and Ryu from Street Fighter, he said his buddy wanted to get back to his roots on Damn.
"He's been Kendrick Lamar for a while, and Kendrick Lamar is the good kid, he's the more introspective kid," said Soul. "I think he was trying to get back to K-Dot, get back to his roots, sag his pants, really roll through the hood... for this album, he kinda did it for us, like for our generation and how we feel right now."
Contrasted against a project like To Pimp A Butterfly—a thought-provoking and dense commentary on the black experience—Damn does contain a lot more free-flowing, upbeat music. There's still plenty of social commentary and deep thematic ties within the new album, but we'd have to agree it feels more like a younger Kendrick, the kid who used to freestyle over the "Monster" beat and drop homages to Michael Jordan by calling himself "three much for these hoes."
"This was a plan, for us to conquer as much ground as we can. Black Hippy is just a name, a name for our fusion. We all have our own personal goals that we have to reach," he said. "Me personally, I still have a lot of ground to cover before I can think about putting together a group album. I know I can probably speak for them when I say that as well."
You can catch Soul's full interview up top, where you can watch him discuss his relationship with Joey Badass, disliking the phrase "Stay Woke," and much, much more.