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Top Dawg Entertainment rapper Ab-Soul is from California, like the rest of the members of Black Hippy (Kendrick Lamar, Schoolboy Q, and Jay Rock). But Ab-Soul’s collaborated with enough Chicagoans over the past couple years that I’d like to think he considers this city a second home—he’s dropped tracks with Twista, Common, Lupe Fiasco, and Cool Kids’ Chuck Inglish and Sir Michael Rocks; plus he’s on one the best tracks on Chance the Rapper’s Acid Rap and my favorite tune on Vic Mensa’s Innanetape.
All that brings me to today’s 12 O’Clock Track, Ab-Soul’s “These Days,” which includes contributions from Chicago production outfit Blended Babies and local soul group the O’My’s, who’ve collaborated with enough up-and-coming MCs to ensure that their rap bona fides were locked down before the rest of the country caught up with Chance (scope their Soundcloud for the evidence). The O’My’s provide some sweet, baked-in-the-sun soul in each guitar lick on “These Days” while Ab-Soul goes off the rails and does his version of the kind of wild, irregular flow that pushed Migos into hip-hop’s spotlight last year. “These Days” isn’t included on the track list for Ab-Soul’s forthcoming album, which is odd considering the title is These Days . . ., but I hope that changes before the album drops, because this song is lovely. Take a listen below.