Ab-Soul-ILLuminate ft. Kendrick Lamar (Video)

If TDE’s members are to be believed, 2013 is going to be all about Ab-Soul and ScHoolboy Q. This was one of the standout cuts from Ab’s Control System album, and certainly one that garnered plenty of attention across hip-hop courtesy of his labelmate attaching his name to this.

Ab’s lyricism veers between confident, humble, biographical and even somewhat altruistic at times, displaying his versatility as a rapper and packaging those raps into an intense and hungry delivery that adds plenty of gravitas. That Kendrick verse is a great addition too, his introspective style fitting well with the spaced-out, atmospheric production, and there’s no doubt this is a mighty fine slice of hip-hop from start to finish.

The visual is both engaging and relatively simple, with a very dark, almost-underworldly style that plays on the aura of the production well, with shots of dilapidated buildings, personal close-ups in dim lighting, and rapid shifts from scene-to-scene that create a slight sense of unease. There’s a ton of messaging packed into here too, a favourite being the surveillance-esque footage of Kendrick being driven through a dead street, indicative of his status as ‘everyone’s MC to watch’ in an alarmingly-empty hip-hop scene, and I’m sure you’ll find plenty more worth noting. An engrossing watch and a good track.

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