Published Jun 23, 2014About halfway through highly touted TDE rapper Ab-Soul's major label debut, These Days… you have to wonder, "What's the point?" Sandwiched throughout the album are a 23-minute track, "W.R.O.H.," the random addition of a man named Jimmy, the self-proclaimed "white Ab-Soul" and a cavalcade of clever/clunky Ab-Soul word conjunctions. Yet somehow, amongst the madness, Soul makes it work. "God's Reign" features Canadian electro duo Purity Ring's signature sonic outer space vistas while Ab-Soul laments, "My girl died and I lost my mind and I'm off of everything but heroine."
Meanwhile, the lean-fuelled "Ride Slow" has the rapper trading lyrical barbs with Danny Brown as their drug addled high reaches its inevitable end. However, These Days is not without issue. "Twact" — barely subtle in its design as a DJ Mustard rip-off — feels like filler, while the "let me fuck your mind" ballad, "Sapiosexual" is cringe-worthy. Despite these problems, the self-proclaimed "Genius, idiot" succeeds for the most part in moving out of his sonic comfort zone while toeing the lyrical line between enlightenment and ignorance. (Top Dawg)