|Studio album by Ab-Soul|
|Released||May 11, 2012|
TDE Recording Studio: House of Pain
|Label||Top Dawg Entertainment|
Control System is the second studio album by American rapper Ab-Soul. It was released on May 11, 2012, by 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.
The album is Ab-Soul's fourth full-length project, which was preceded by numerous promotional singles, the first being "Black Lip Bastard" on January 17, 2012. The song was produced by Willie B. 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", 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. On April 6, 2012, Ab-Soul released the track, titled "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".
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. 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 US Representative Lamar S. Smith, that would've allowed the US government controversial control over the internet.
On May 1, 2012, Ab-Soul released another music video for a song titled "Empathy"; the song features vocals from JaVonte and his late friend and girlfriend Alori Joh, who committed suicide in February 2012. 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. On May 8, 2012, his collaboration with Kendrick Lamar, titled "Illuminate" was released. The music video would be released on January 15, 2013. 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"
Throughout 2011 and 2012, Ab-Soul was working on his second album. He had recorded the songs "Empathy" and "A Rebellion" with Alori Joh. On February 7, 2012, it was reported a young woman committed suicide by leaping from a radio tower; the woman was later identified as Loriana Johnson, also known as Alori Joh. In a June 2012 interview with HipHopDX, Ab-Soul publicly spoke on Joh's death and how it impacted him and the album: "I was actually pretty much done with the project before that happened. Luckily for me and all of us cause I definitely don't think I would have been able to put it out in the time that I did. It was difficult. It's still very difficult. She helps me out with all of my projects. It's a very difficult thing to get over but at the same time this is what we've been - we, me and her, were working on for the majority of the time I've known her. She was one of my biggest supporters so I feel like I owe her and I owe everybody else that's taken a liking to what we're doing." "The Book of Soul" was of the last tracks that he recorded on the project, he touches on a couple topics throughout his life, with Alori Joh being the main subject over a jazzy instrumental produced by Tommy Black.
Upon its release, Control System received universal 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." The album was named the 20th best of 2012 by Complex Magazine.Spin Magazine named the album the twelfth best hip hop album of 2012. Robert Christgau ranked the album 46th on his 2012 "Dean's List".
|1.||"Soulo Ho3" (featuring Jhené Aiko)||3:57|
|2.||"Track Two"||Tae Beast (of Digi+Phonics)||4:03|
|4.||"Terrorist Threats" (featuring Jhené Aiko & Danny Brown)||Dave Free||4:24|
|5.||"Pineal Gland"||Tae Beast||3:52|
|6.||"Double Standards" (featuring Anna Wise)||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||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 & JaVonté)||Skhye Hutch||3:01|
|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.||5:49|
|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|