© 2024 Connecticut Public

FCC Public Inspection Files:
WPKT · WRLI-FM · WEDW-FM · Public Files Contact
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Rapper Ab-Soul is back with 'Herbert,' a memoir in album form

Ab-Soul, photographed at the TDE Pool Party on July 18, 2021 in LA.
Jerritt Clark
Getty Images
Ab-Soul, photographed at the TDE Pool Party on July 18, 2021 in LA.

Updated December 20, 2022 at 10:38 AM ET

Content warning: This story contains discussion of suicide.

Evocation and humor are two centrally important tools for a rapper – but when Ab-Soul describes his approach to a new album, released last week, he says he "didn't want to have the most punchlines, the most metaphors." It's a striking creative departure for an artist known as "a rapper's rapper."

That pivot was caused, in part, by a very difficult experience during the pandemic, when he went through what he's referred to as "a suicidal blackout" at the height of lockdown. Now, after a long hiatus, the TDE-signed Ab-Soul has returned with Herbert – its title is his real name and, in the spirit of those last couple of years, it can often resemble a memoir. One in which he is trying to come to terms with how grief has changed him.

To hear this conversation, use the audio player at the top of this page.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Stand up for civility

This news story is funded in large part by Connecticut Public’s Members — listeners, viewers, and readers like you who value fact-based journalism and trustworthy information.

We hope their support inspires you to donate so that we can continue telling stories that inform, educate, and inspire you and your neighbors. As a community-supported public media service, Connecticut Public has relied on donor support for more than 50 years.

Your donation today will allow us to continue this work on your behalf. Give today at any amount and join the 50,000 members who are building a better—and more civil—Connecticut to live, work, and play.