Following up his 2015 studio album ‘These Days’, Ab-Soul returned to our ears in December of last year with ‘Do What Thou Wilt’. The album title and cover both set immediately an edgy, dark and honest project from the Black Lip Pastor.
From the very beginning with the Rock-Inspired “Raw (Backwards)” to the final track, “YMF”, there’s nowhere on the album that Soulo doesn’t keep me interested. His choice of beats are experimental, yet fit his astounding lyrics and themes that he explores on every album. However, on his latest release, Soulo sounds more dominant and ready to go head-to-head with anyone who aims at him.
Not that Ab shines brighter than anyone else on this album, but, the first feature that stood out was the aggressive final verse provided by New Jersey MC, Da$h on “Huey Knew THEN”. His quick-sporadic flow glides blissfully over the glitchty, edgy guitar loop courtesy of Willie B.
“Threatening Nature” is one of the most artistic products from Soulo. The eerie loop of the choir and church bells give Ab enough space to provide absolute vocal heat. He discusses feminism, Trump and Clinton and how his style of rap is “over niggas heads like ceilings and bright ideas”. Another great track on the album and amongst Ab’s building discography is the Kokane ad-libbed “INvocation”. Production by Rahki on this is catastrophically amazing with manic drums and funeral service horns that add a wave of Nu-Jazz to the track.
While the majority of the album is focused on politics, religion, the idea of women being of a more dominant figure in general (TRU), there are also the club-orientated and as easy-going as an Ab-Soul(o-Hoe) song can get. This includes the Mike WiLL-cut “Womanogamy”, “Wifey vs. WiFi” and the raunchy first half of “God’s a Girl?” which includes the comic as fuck bar, “I ain’t gonna lie you got me crying with a hard dick”.
“D.R.U.G.S.”, one of the final tracks on the album is one of the best Soul tracks ever. It sees him reflecting on fame, how friends and others want him to hand out money, his addiction to (surprise) drugs and that, at the end of the day, he’d still be as good or better a rapper when he’s sober.
In all, ‘Do What Thou Wilt’ is one of Hip-Hop and Top Dawg Entertainment’s most overlooked projects’. It’s filled with jaw-dropping rhyme schemes, out-of-this-world production and great fluidity as a solo studio album.