Release date: May 11, 2012
Art direction: HC, retOne
Label: Top Dawg Entertainment
Ab-Soul's cover for Control System mystified fans in the same way many of his rhymes do. Featuring sacred geometry, recognizably appropriated mythical symbols, and an interpretation of the Kabbalah Tree of Life, the HC and retOne-designed cover cut so many layers deep that it seemed even RapGenius couldn't unravel the mysteries of this mystic image.
Thankfully, Ab-Soul himself helped out with this: "Two words for you, brother: control system," he explains to Hip-Hop DX. "Simple as that. Everything that is mandatory in this country is a control system. A lot of the economy, society—it's all controlled. Politics. It's a big production, if you will. I just think I'm one of the people that's kind of aware of that." Perhaps the most conscious member of the Black Hippy collective, Ab-Soul's imagery here remains as thoughtful as his practice. —Dale Eisinger