The masses have loved DAMN. since its first week sales of 603,000 equivalent units, clocking it in at the biggest debut of 2017. Under three weeks in, the album managed to earn platinum status. According to Ab-Soul, we can thank Kendrick for trying to “get back to his roots” for that. In an interview with Montreality on Wednesday (June 7), Ab-Soul totes Lamar’s fourth studio album as a pant-sagging, rolling-through-the-hood attempt for the Grammy Award-winning rapper to get back to his early moniker, K. Dot.
The Do What Thou Whilt rapper continues by comparing himself and Lamar to “Street Fighters” characters, Ken and Ryu, claiming himself “the prototype” and referring to Kendrick as the “good kid.”
“I think To Pimp A Butterfly was [Kendrick] more so trying to make music that our big homies would love, that our parents would love,” the “RAW (backwards)” artist begins. “This album, he did it for us, for our generation and what we feel right now.”
While on the topic of DAMN., when questioned about the identity of the blind woman mentioned in the intro, “BLOOD,” Ab-Soul jokes around saying Kendrick is referring to him. He then tells his interviewer that he’ll reveal the identity when the cameras weren’t rolling because we, the viewers, would have to figure out on our own.
Toward the end, Soul is asked to provide advice to those who may be contemplating suicide. Before answering, he pushes back his fur-trimmed, army fatigue jacket to reveal his bare side inked with a portrait of his late, long-time girlfriend, Alori Joh, who committed suicide amid the creative process of his Control System album.
“I don’t care what you’re going to do, man. You think you’re going to die and leave the Earth, we’re still going to keep you alive down here, man. You got people down here that love you, whether you think so or not—we’re going to keep you alive. So, you might as well do whatever it is you’re here to do. You’re not here to off yourself. That is a complete waste of birth, don’t you think?”
Earlier, he discussed his song “D.R.U.G.S.” from his fourth studio album, saying that the Lupe Fiasco-sported acronym stands for “Don’t Ruin Us God Said.” He then continues to admit that he always wants to ensure that he’s a positive role model to the world.
The T.D.E. rapper finishes his advice saying, “You are here to figure out what it is you’re here to do. Whether or not you think that’s going to take your problems away, you’re going to harm somebody else, severely, whether it be your mother, your best friend, your boyfriend, your future husband.” He exhales a deep sigh of grievance and continues, “Exercise your intuition, it’s not supposed to be easy here. How fun would that be? How much would you learn that way? When it’s hell, that means there’s heaven around the corner.”
Peep the remainder of the introspective interview, where Soulo describes Do What Thou Wilt as a “woman appreciation album.” Plus, his views on gender roles, a possible Black Hippy posse album, and hip-hop being an intelligent movement.