May 16
8 p.m.
DJ, Hip-Hop

It’s telling that when Ab-Soul questioned the hip-hop cred of “mumble rapper” Lil Uzi Vert last year, Uzi responded by praising Soul and his dazzling use of language instead of furthering the beef — that’s the kind of respect Ab-Soul has come to command over the course of his decade-long career. Aside from his spot on the powerhouse roster of Top Dawg Entertainment, the California native is an original member of Black Hippy along with Kendrick Lamar, Schoolboy Q, and Jay Rock, where he maintains his own singular identity as a trippy, language-obsessed MC with a cultish following. He doesn’t have a major chart hit, and he’s never needed one. His latest album, December’s Do What Thou Wilt., his most out-there yet, was both commended and condemned for just how deep it journeys into Soul’s creative mind, where it encounters Aleister Crowley references, feminist themes, and dizzying wordplay. (“It’s Benadryl to be ill/You ain’t really sick, who you a-Mucinex?” he sneers at an unspecified sucker MC on “Invocation.”).