‘Do What Thou Wilt’ an Ab-Soul-ute classic


Artwork by Top Dawg Entertainment.

By Michael Gorman

“Do What Thou Wilt” is Ab-Soul’s loud, abrasive and disorganized claim to the center-stage of modern hip-hop and rap. At surface level, it may seem as if he’s being wildly offensive, but after a deeper look into the lyrics, it’s clear Ab-Soul is thinking on a higher level.

Note-worthy lyrics fuel the album, and the project is a step up from his last work, “These Days,” released in 2014.

Throughout the album, Ab-Soul entertains listeners with clever lyrics, especially on “Huey Knew THEN”: “They speak highly of me when I raise my voice / I gotta shoot a free throw to make my point.”

On “Threatening Nature,” Ab-Soul uses a moody beat with mixed success to speak on topics such as feminism and religion: “And we don’t speak on sexism much as we really should / The black man could vote before the woman could / You singin’ hymns in church, I’m lookin’ for the her’s / In 66 books in the Bible, they ain’t let a lady say one word.”

Many longtime Soul fans wouldn’t expect a catchy song from the Compton rapper, but on “D.R.U.G.S,” he provides a juicy yet tortured hook featuring Mac Miller. Ab-Soul starts the song describing how much he loves his family and friends, but closes with “Last but not least, I love drugs.” The track highlights Soul’s ability to leave the listener pondering his lyrics–both satisfied and confused.

For the duration of the tape, Ab-Soul provides sweet flows, along with complex beats and themes. “Do What Thou Wilt” also overshadowed J. Cole’s lackluster album, which was released on the same day, solidifying Ab-Soul’s presence in the hip-hop world.

Rating: 4 out of 5