Ab-Soul – Evil Genius (feat. Teedra Moses & JaVonté)
The Do What Thou Wilt videos keep coming. One of the more somber cuts gets the treatment this time, and features singers Teedra Moses and JaVonté. Joints like this are why I love Ab-Soul so much. He balances stories of personal anguish/growth with his own interpretations of life and human society – often throwing in a little humor to lighten the mood too. His sonic diversity doesn’t get enough love.
Another reason why I admire this dude so much is because of his persistence and strength as a human being. Fans and rap scholars should know the story of his childhood sweetheart ‘Alori Joh.’ Like Soul, she was a talented musician and actually featured on some of his music. She unexpectedly took her life right before Soul dropped his Control System album, leaving him alone and heartbroken. The dude then blew up to a whole different level after that album, and has since been heralded by his peers (and the right critics) as one of this generation’s deepest lyricists. Can you even imagine though what it must of felt like for Ab-Soul at this time? And what it feels like now? Love probably is the most important thing in this entire Universe. Being in love with someone/something is one of life’s most beautiful gifts. To have your lover, a person you have been with for almost your entire life, just disappear like that (by suicide, nonetheless) must rip your entire existence into a million little pieces. How do you come back from that? Seriously? Here you are, right at the cusp of your career – legends are praising you, and all you can think about is how much pain you feel. But, you have to keep going. You have to do the interviews, you have to tour and you have to drop music. Even if your heart is in sheer anguish in every moment. Apologies for ranting a little, but this is something I’ve always wanted to say about Ab-Soul. Seeing him at Alori’s gravestone at the end of this video hit me in a whole different way. These aren’t just artists. They are also people. Never forget that. All love to Ab-Soul. Rest in peace Alori Joh. And to you, the reader: never take anything for granted. I’m out.
– Benny P
image via TDE & Ab-Soul