Like I ain't never had shit
Cause I never had shit
Same Chucks, two years straight, doing bad shit
Sick, twist two spliffs out my dime bag shit
Pissed, tryna get a good response out this bad bitch
Track Two by Ab-Soul 1

To quote J. Cole:

Pussy my passion, never been a fan of flashing
Probably cuz’ I never could, so if I had it, never would
Then I got my first little taste of paper and I splurged
I guess it’s just the nigga urge

Now that he’s getting on, he’s embracing his inner vanity slave to a degree. That’s women, weed (a dime bag is $10 of the stuff) and brews. Considering that he was rocking Chuck Taylors for so long, and that they’re often associated with gangs, he might’ve been mixed up with some of Carson’s Pirus, whom he mentions later on.

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Jet 2's photo

11,917

October 22nd, 2013

Ab-Soul also plays on the words “Trying to get a good response out this bad bitch.” Usually many beautiful women are into guys that are equally as flashy, or presentable. Ab-Soul was working hard to get a good response from a beautiful girl despite his current position not having much to show for.

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Sinister literature, given from this wicked minister
Witness your future diminish
No present from Saint Nicholas in particular
You're just a thing of the past
I'm a diamond ring in the trash
No reason to brag, it's Ab
Track Two by Ab-Soul 1

What a way to sum up someone’s life. His competitions' supposed bright future is a fading prospect. On top of that, at this time they’ve got nothing special to them — no gift/present like you’d get from Santa Claus — or presence, and as such they’ve become nothing but a past thought.

Then again he’s not in the clear either. Kendrick may be the good kid in a mad city, but Ab’s the diamond ring in the trash: a gifted person hidden away from view by the garbage (probably poor music) that the industry at large surrounds him with.

‘Sinister Literature’ would also make sense as enjambment from the previous line about the literary Legend — ‘Don Juan’

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Pop my collar like I'm Don Juan, green to my slippers
Just remember that they don't want me to get ignorant
Track Two by Ab-Soul 1

What'chu know bout Don Juan? Hailing from Chicago, he was once a pimp and has appeared on various songs, including the remix for 50 Cent’s P.I.M.P and Snoop Dogg’s Boss Playa. He also likes green a little. Like many a stereotypical pimp, you can assume he’d be cool, but with a vicious pimp hand lurking on the other side.

Don Juan is also a legendary fictional libertine, whom many authors' and poets have depicted in their works. He was a womanizer and generally did what he wanted. ‘Don Juan’ was an epic satirical Poem from one of the most influential and greatest British poets of all time — Lord Byron (who was also a man of great power and status)

Word Up Ab-Soul

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In this world of luxury cars, and legal tender
Johnny want me like Wyclef Jean gone til' November
Track Two by Ab-Soul 1

Reference to “Gone Till November” by Wyclef Jean, a story about a drug dealer that had leave til' November when he could do that kind of work. In this case rappers and the police (a.k.a Johnny Laws) want Ab gone so they can work in peace.

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Yeah, welcome to the Control System
I'm stimulating the hoes and educating my niggas
I wiggle through potholes, my destination is vivid
To the end of the road I'm driven, y'all trippin'
Soulo
Track Two by Ab-Soul 1

Two of Control System’s goals, compressed into a few lines and followed by a reminder of just how determined the Black Lip Bastard is. Remember Kendrick’s lines from Turn Me Up:

My potholes is turbulence
I’m in the sky wit it

Ab-Soul is making it become a trend to be a thinker instead of just a trend-follower. His knowledge about life is making him attractive to women and in the process inspiring others to pay attention and learn more about life.

It’s also important to note that he’s welcoming us to his album, Control System, but also saying welcome to society — a corrupt system based upon controlling and extorting its people for the gain of those at the top.

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Been running round since L train cut up at Our People
Rocket was my role model, Lil Roccett my number one O-migo
Went fifteen in the back alley, hop fences and skip school
Fellowship with the gang members, and goddammit I still do
Track Two by Ab-Soul 1

Symptoms of a troublemaker. It’s bad enough that he was truant, but he knew gang members and was already into drugs too it seems.

L Train is a barber that’s been cutting hair at Our People Barbershop in Carson, Ca., whilst Roccett is another rapper from Del Amo, and Lil Roccett is his homie. An L Train is also essentially a marijuana cigar. Amigo is Spanish for ‘friend’, hence he got his weed in O’s (ounces) from his O-migo, Lil' Roccett.

Finally, to go “fifteen in the back alley” refers to a 15 second game people play in the hood to sharpen up their street fighting skills.

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Del Amo, Carson in the house
The View, The Village, Scottsdale and right back around
Can't forget about The Patch, matter fact
I got some homies off Grace Ave., we go way back
Track Two by Ab-Soul 1

Think Game, but with places and gangs instead of names. Apart from The View, The Village and Scottsdale (which is apparently a relatively better part of the area):

  • Ab-Soul’s from Del Amo.
  • The View refers to Centerview Piru
  • The village refers to the Stevenson Village Crips
  • Scottsdale is a Piru gang
  • The Patch is a popular area around Carson St. & Main St., by Carson Park, and refers to the Cabbage Patch Pirus
  • Grace Ave. is by Carson High & Dolores St. School

The man’s got links.

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And we stunting like
Ab-Soul, abstract, asshole
(Give the people what they need!) Damn right, let 'em know
(You got some kind of disease!) I'm the illest in the business
If you ain't with the business, mind your business
And we stunting like
Ab-Soul, abstract, asshole
(Give the people what they need!) Damn right, let 'em know
(You got some kind of disease!) I'm the illest in the business
If you ain't with the business, mind your business
And we stunting like
Track Two by Ab-Soul 1

“Ab-Soul, abstract, asshole” is one of Soulo’s ad-libs, used here to describe his approach. In the past he experienced Stevens-Johnson Syndrome, but this time he’s got a good ill that’s spread to his music. Respect or depart. One can’t help but think of these lines:

I’m not a businessman
I’m a business, man!
Let me handle my business, damn

The line “And we stunting like” comes from Kreayshawn’s “Gucci Gucci.”

Ab’s rhymes are more complex than your usual rapper, they have more than one level.
This is the opposite of a rapper like Jay Z who:
“I dumbed down for my audience to double my dollars
They criticized me for it, yet they all yell holla”

Ab is not planning on selling out, he’d rather make rhymes he actually likes.

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rtothe's photo

279

March 13th, 2014

With the line “I’m the illest in the business” he is also implying that he is literally one of the illest in the game because of the syndrome.

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Fascinated by you faggots hating, get an occupation
You in violation, provoke annihilation
Flow like the Nile river, yo it's now or never
You had a release date, but now it's never
Track Two by Ab-Soul 1

Flowing as long as the Nile runs (an-nile-hilation), and it’s the longest river in the world. Plus, it flows North — he’s only rising, progressing and getting better. At that rate, since artists try to release music when there isn’t much competition, they’ll never get their product off because that time will never come.

He’s saying he’s fascinated by those who spend time criticizing him. They should find a more meaningful way to spend their lives seeing as their rap careers aren’t going anywhere.

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I run the town like Roc Nation, no exaggeration
Bet I rise like Lazarus, use your imagination
Track Two by Ab-Soul 1

Jay-Z’s the owner of Roc Nation and released “Run This Town” back in 2010. Needless to say, sometimes it seems like he runs the industry and that song ran the airwaves, TVs and etc.

Lazarus of Bethany on the other hand is a man from the Bible who Jesus rose from the dead. Metaphorically, Ab compares his rise from the underground to Lazarus', who was buried underground.

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