Control System

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This article is about the album by Ab-Soul. For a set of devices to manage, see Control system. For other uses, see Control system (disambiguation).
Control System
Studio album by Ab-Soul
Released May 11, 2012
Recorded 2011-2012
TDE Recording Studio: House of Pain
(Carson, California)
Genre Hip hop
Length 71:44
Label Top Dawg Entertainment
Producer Anthony "Top Dawg" Tiffith (exec.), Punch (co-exec.)
Dave Free (also co-exec.), Sounwave, Tae Beast, King Blue, Willie B, Nez & Rio, Skhye Hutch, Curtiss King, Aahyasis, Tommy Black
Ab-Soul chronology
Longterm Mentality
(2011)
Control System
(2012)
These Days…
(2014)

Control System is the second studio album by American hip hop recording artist Ab-Soul, released on May 11, 2012, via Top Dawg Entertainment. The album features guest appearances from Jhené Aiko, Danny Brown, Schoolboy Q, Jay Rock, BJ the Chicago Kid, Kendrick Lamar, JaVonte, Punch, Ashtrobot and vocals from the late Alori Joh. The album's production was handled by Digi+Phonics, King Blue, Nez & Rio, Skhye Hutch, Curtiss King, Aahyasis and Tommy Black.[1]

Background[edit]

The album is Ab-Soul's fourth full-length project in four years. The album was preceded by numerous promotional singles, the first being "Black Lip Bastard" on January 17, 2012. The song was produced by Willie B.[2] On February 28, 2012, Ab-Soul, along with Schoolboy Q, appeared on Sway Calloway's #SwayInTheMorning radio show, where Ab-Soul called "Black Lip Bastard": "pretty much one of the title tracks",[3] the song, however, failed to make the album's final track listing. The first song that appears on the album, to be released was "Showin' Love", also produced by Willie B.[4]

On April 6, 2012, Ab-Soul released "Terrorist Threats". The song features frequent collaborator Jhené Aiko and Danny Brown, who proclaimed on Twitter that "Black Hippy the new Beatles and I'm Harry Nilsson".[5] On April 17, 2012, Ab-Soul revealed the album's title to be Control System and unveiled the release date to be May 11, 2012. That same day he also released a music video for "Pineal Gland", a song inspired by the psychedelic drug DMT and of course the pineal gland, a small endocrine gland in the vertebrate brain theorized to store natural reserves of DMT in mammals.[6][7] On April 24, 2012, another single, by the title of "SOPA" was released. The song, produced by Nez & Rio, references Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), a United States bill introduced by U.S. Representative Lamar S. Smith, that would've allowed the U.S. government controversial control over the internet.[8]

On May 1, 2012, Ab-Soul released another music video, for a new song titled "Empathy", the song features vocals from JaVonte and his late friend/girlfriend Alori Joh, who committed suicide in February.[9] On May 4, 2012, it was revealed "Black Lip Bastard" was remixed and will feature his Black Hippy cohorts, Jay Rock, Kendrick Lamar and Schoolboy Q.[10] On May 8, 2012, his collaboration with Kendrick Lamar, titled "ILLuminate", was released. The music video would be released on January 15, 2013.[11] The day before the album's release Ab-Soul revealed the track listing and released snippets from the album. The album, as written on the back cover, is "Dedicated to the beautiful soul of Loriana Angel Johnson aka Alori Joh"[12]

Reception[edit]

Critical Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic 83/100[13]
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4/5 stars
Robert Christgau A–[14]
DJBooth.net 4/5 stars[15]
Exclaim! 8/10[16]
HipHopDX 4.5/5 stars[17]
The Needle Drop 8/10[18]
Pitchfork Media 8.1/10[19]
Spin 8/10[20]
XXL 4/5 stars (XL)[21]

Control System received general acclaim from music critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a weighted mean rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 83, based on 10 reviews, which indicates "Universal acclaim ".[13] The album was named the 20th best of 2012 by Complex Magazine.[22] Spin Magazine named the album the twelfth best Hip Hop album of 2012.[23]

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Producer Length
1. "Soulo Ho3" (featuring Jhené Aiko) Sounwave & Dave Free (of Digi+Phonics) 3:57
2. "Track Two"   Tae Beast (of Digi+Phonics) 4:03
3. "Bohemian Grove"   Tae Beast & Dave Free (of Digi+Phonics) 4:23
4. "Terrorist Threats" (featuring Jhené Aiko & Danny Brown) Dave Free (of Digi+Phonics) 4:24
5. "Pineal Gland"   Tae Beast (of Digi+Phonics) 3:52
6. "Double Standards"   Sounwave (of Digi+Phonics) 4:21
7. "Mixed Emotions"   King Blue (of Sore Losers) 4:08
8. "SOPA" (featuring Schoolboy Q) Nez & Rio 4:09
9. "Lust Demons" (featuring Jay Rock & BJ the Chicago Kid) Tae Beast (of Digi+Phonics) 3:41
10. "Illuminate" (featuring Kendrick Lamar) Skhye Hutch 5:07
11. "A Rebellion" (featuring Alori Joh) Curtiss King 3:48
12. "Showin' Love"   Willie B (of Digi+Phonics) 4:57
13. "Empathy" (featuring Alori Joh & JaVonte) Skhye Hutch 3:01
14. "Nothing's Something"   Aahyasis 2:30
15. "Beautiful Death" (featuring Punch & Ashtrobot) Skhye Hutch 4:30
16. "The Book of Soul"   Tommy Black 5:11
17. "Black Lip Bastard (Remix)" (Black Hippy) (Bonus Track) Willie B (of Digi+Phonics) 5:49
Total length:
71:44
Sample credits

Charts[edit]

Chart (2012)[36] Peak
position
US Billboard 200 91
US Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums (Billboard) 12
US Top Rap Albums (Billboard) 9
US Top Independent Albums (Billboard) 13

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.hiphopdx.com/index/news/id.19672/title.ab-soul-control-system-tracklist
  2. ^ "Ab-Soul – Black Lip Bastard (prod. Willie B of Digi+Phonics)". 2DopeBoyz. 2012-01-17. Retrieved 2012-05-27. 
  3. ^ "ScHoolboy Q & Ab-Soul – 5 Fingers Of Death Freestyle (Video)". 2DopeBoyz. 2012-02-28. Retrieved 2012-05-27. 
  4. ^ "Ab-Soul – Showin’ Love (prod. Willie B of Digi+Phonics)". 2DopeBoyz. 2012-03-02. Retrieved 2012-05-27. 
  5. ^ Fitzmaurice, Larry (April 9, 2012). "Ab-Soul: "Terrorist Threats" [ft. Danny Brown and Jhene Aiko]". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 2012-05-27. 
  6. ^ "Ab-Soul - Pineal Gland Music Video". DJBooth.net. 2012-04-17. Retrieved 2012-05-27. 
  7. ^ "Ab-Soul – Pineal Gland [video]". Scoremore. 2012-04-19. Retrieved 2012-05-27. 
  8. ^ "Ab-Soul – SOPA f. ScHoolboy Q (prod. Nez & Rio)". 2DopeBoyz. 2012-04-24. Retrieved 2012-05-27. 
  9. ^ "New Video: Ab-Soul - "Empathy" (Featuring Alori Joh and jaVonté)". beatsandrants.com. 2012-05-01. Retrieved 2012-05-27. 
  10. ^ "Ab-Soul – Black Lip Bastard (Black Hippy Remix) (Preview)". 2DopeBoyz. 2012-05-04. Retrieved 2012-05-27. 
  11. ^ http://tdenation.com/2013/01/15/video-abdashsoul-feat-kendricklamar-illuminate/
  12. ^ "Ab-Soul – Control System (Tracklist x Snippets)". 2DopeBoyz. 2012-05-10. Retrieved 2012-05-27. 
  13. ^ a b "Metacritic: Control System". Metacritic. Retrieved 2012-03-08. 
  14. ^ Christgau, Robert (August 28, 2012). "Ab-Soul/Kendrick Lamar". MSN Music. Microsoft. Retrieved 2012-08-29. 
  15. ^ S., Nathan (May 16, 2012). "Ab-Soul - Control System - Hip Hop Album Review". Album Review. DJBooth.net. Retrieved 2012-05-27. 
  16. ^ Marrack, Peter (May 23, 2012). "Ab-Soul - Control System Hip Hop Reviews". Album Review. Exclaim.ca. Retrieved 2012-06-08. 
  17. ^ Fairfax, Jesse (May 15, 2012). "Ab-Soul - #controlsystem - Hip Hop Album Review". Album Review. HipHopDX.com. Retrieved 2012-05-27. 
  18. ^ http://theneedledrop.com/2012/05/ab-soul-control-system/
  19. ^ http://www.pitchfork.com/reviews/albums/16784-control-system/
  20. ^ http://www.spin.com/reviews/ab-soul-control-system-self-released/
  21. ^ Mordi, Christian (May 17, 2012). "Ab-Soul, Control System". Album Review. XXL. Retrieved 2012-05-27. 
  22. ^ http://www.complex.com/music/2012/12/2012-year-in-review-the-50-best-albums-of-2012/ab-soul-control-system
  23. ^ http://www.spin.com/articles/spin-40-best-hip-hop-albums-of-2012?slide=29
  24. ^ "Ab-Soul's Track Two sample of Electric Light Orchestra's Tightrope". WhoSampled. Retrieved June 13, 2012. 
  25. ^ "Ab-Soul's Terrorist Threats sample of Darren Korb's The Bottom Feeders". WhoSampled. Retrieved June 27, 2012. 
  26. ^ "Ab-Soul's Terrorist Threats sample of Jay-Z's Nigga What, Nigga Who". WhoSampled. Retrieved May 24, 2012. 
  27. ^ "Ab-Soul's Pineal Gland sample of Bo Hansson's Attic Thoughts". WhoSampled. Retrieved May 24, 2012. 
  28. ^ "Ab-Soul's Lust Demons sample of Isaac Hayes' Aruba". WhoSampled. Retrieved May 24, 2012. 
  29. ^ "Ab-Soul's ILLuminate sample of Kendrick Lamar's A.D.H.D.". WhoSampled. Retrieved June 13, 2012. 
  30. ^ "Ab-Soul's A Rebellion sample of Midnight Star's Follow the Path". WhoSampled. Retrieved May 20, 2012. 
  31. ^ "Ab-Soul's Showin' Love sample of Ahmad Jamal's Swahililand". WhoSampled. Retrieved June 13, 2012. 
  32. ^ "Ab-Soul's Beautiful Death sample of OutKast's You May Die (Intro)". WhoSampled. Retrieved June 13, 2012. 
  33. ^ "Ab-Soul's The Book of Soul sample of Ahmad Jamal's Swahililand". WhoSampled. Retrieved June 13, 2012. 
  34. ^ "Ab-Soul's The Book of Soul sample of Bobby McFerrin's Moondance". WhoSampled. Retrieved May 20, 2012. 
  35. ^ "Ab-Soul's Black Lip Bastard (Remix) sample of Donny Hathaway's A Song for You". WhoSampled. Retrieved June 13, 2012. 
  36. ^ [1]