Ab-Soul Says Jay Z Won Battle With Nas
While speaking on the record, Soul broke down the importance of the song’s lyrics. He explained that “i” is empowering because the song forces those who sing along to proclaim “I love myself.”
According to the Carson, California rapper, the song also sums up his last album, These Days…
“He summed up my whole album in that song, I think,” Ab-Soul said. “The whole These Days… project. I feel like he summed it up. He probably wasn’t even aware of it. So, that’s just confirmation that we’re all on the same page…Aside from that it’s probably like the most positive song that I’ve heard in a long time. Self-empowering. Cause you gotta think when you’re an artist and you’re performing and you’re saying these words. He's saying ‘I love myself,’ right? So, if you know the words you’re gonna say ‘I love myself’ too. So, he’s like making you love yourself…That’s when you’re taking responsibility for what you’re saying. You got kids listening. It’s people that’s going through things that’s listening. You can use these words to lift ‘em up.”
Ab-Soul was later asked about the past battle between Jay Z and Nas. He says Jay Z won the battle between the two and even avoided being disrespectful when kicking off the battle.
“Jay Z, with full conviction,” he said. “I can quote you Nas’ responses too, word-for-word. But I just kinda feel like Jay owned that battle. He kicked it off…I feel like he didn’t even kick it off disrespectfully. He kinda kicked it off just in a sense of just kinda like taking that throne…Gotta tip my hat to him. He wanted to be the king of New York. Or king of rap or whatever. He had to take that leap.”
In addition to speaking on Jay Z, Nas, and Kendrick, Soulo also addressed Brooklyn, New York rapper Joey Bada$$. He recalled meeting Joey and his Pro Era crew while playing his album for Jonny Shipes. He explained that he didn’t realize the crew was a group of rappers upon first meeting them.
“I’m really tight with their management…I had met them very early,” Soul said. “And I was playing my album for Shipes. And they were in there on the floor and I’m thinking—This my first time seeing them and they didn’t say anything. They didn’t make any—They didn’t insinuate that they rapped at all…So, they’re in there listening to my new music or whatever. And then I come back around and these same kids are the Pro Era. You get what I’m saying? So, it’s like [a] real spiritual thing…We all are on that same wavelength. I feel like we’re all trying to push towards some sort of purpose. Something higher than where we come from.”
In regards to future projects from Ab-Soul, he says he’d like to release Longterm 3 as his first debut album.
“Longterm 3 has to be my first debut album in stores,” the rapper said. “That’s the thing about Longterm 3 as well. So, if I’m not—If we as a team don’t feel like I’m ready for that next then it’ll be something else. You feel what I’m saying? But Longterm 3 should be my first album in stores. My first debut album.”