Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Ab-Soul: Do What Thou Wilt [Top Dawg, 2016]
"Mischievous, mysterious, miscellaneous," he calls himself--with exceptional self-awareness if you ask me. This big reader with the pathologically light-sensitive eyes will never write a senior thesis--college rap he ain't, which is a positive, nuhmean? But his music emanates intellectual excitement and pleasure as he grows up. Confused though the particulars of his "heroine addiction" are, his tree-huffing doggishness recedes whenever he rhymes his feminist-curious yearnings, and if his politics are too Aleister Crowley, at least he's down with the Beatles' psychedelic seer rather than Zeppelin's megalomaniac. As listening, more fun than his fellow Black Hippy's outtakes for sure. As wordplay too. As thinking, leaves room for improvement and reason to hope there'll be some. A-