“Terrorist Threats” – Ab-Soul feat. Danny Brown & Jhene Aiko
Herbert Anthony Stevens IV (born February 23, 1987), better known by his stage name Ab-Soul, is an American hip hop recording artist from Carson, California currently signed to Top Dawg Entertainment and Interscope Records. Stevens is a member of hip hop supergroup Black Hippy along with fellow West Coast rappers and label mates Jay Rock, Kendrick Lamar and ScHoolboy Q.
Ab-Soul has been rapping since he was as young as 12 years old.
I was on BlackPlanet freestyle chat, rapping my ass off. Text battle. It is a very interesting world. I think that it still exists online, where you freestyle but you type it. They call it keystyle. I think that is where I developed my rhyming skills. I had been rapping a little earlier, maybe around 12 [years old], but when I hopped online and into that culture, that textcee culture. It really got me going as far as being a rapper.
However, Stevens’ first aspirations were actually to play basketball professionally. Sadly, these dreams were shattered when he caught a rare virus called Steven-Johnson Syndrome. This virus reduced the quality of his vision and made him sensitive to bright light. It also darkened his lips, a trait that he says caused him to take the brunt of his classmates taunts.
It definitely put a huge dent in my hoop dreams. I even kept trying to play. I tried to keep playing with my shades on, it was real funny when I think about it now. A lot of my friends were real cool about it….When I had got sick when I was younger of course it affected my lip skin, so coming up in school I had very dark lips and my eyes were low. I had to wear shades and shit. So I was quite peculiar. People teased me about my lips, and say I look high. I didn’t even start smoking weed until after I graduated from high school.
High school sucks eh?
Ab-Soul has become known for his conscious lyrics and rapping style that is reminiscent more of a Wu-Tang era. His beats are made to match his style as well, so the whole feel of his songs are pretty old-timey-rap to me. “Terrorist Threats” is a great song that covers a lot of different subjects, but it’s main focus is his opinion that the US government is doing a lot to reduce the freedom of Americans and that black Americans are taking a large portion of that.
You’ve got progress, you’ve got congress
We protest in hopes they confess
Just proceed on your conquest
I ain’t got no gavel
I ain’t finna fight nobody battle
I just wanna be free
I ain’t finna be nobodies chattel
Succinct and clever (definition of chattel here, if you don’t know the word), both are typical of almost any Ab-Soul song you can find. Enjoy!