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“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!

Lyrics explantions here.

More about Ab-Soul here.

Terrorist Threats (feat. Danny Brown & Jhene Aiko) - Control System

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