In January, Top Dawg Entertainment (TDE) president Dave Free sat down with MTV to share his excitement about the label’s plans for a 2016 takeover.
“This year was a great year, but 2016 is going to be an amazing year. We’ve got a lot more music coming. A lot of artists didn’t come out in 2015. By the time we come back around on this next go? Oh my goodness. It’s gonna crazy. We’re gonna have everybody hittin’. That’s what’s gonna be sick. That’s what’s gonna be fun. That’s what I’m excited about.”
In March, Top Dawg added fuel to the fire with a look at TDE’s projected releases—listing the entire roster, including two new artists. Unfortunately, we’re four months into the year and, outside of Kendrick’s surprise drop, nothing has surfaced.
That doesn’t mean the crew isn’t working, though. Isaiah Rashad kicked off the year with a “Smile.” SZA blessed Rihanna’s ANTI with her sultry voice. Kendrick’s Untitled Unmastered. Rock is recouping (stay strong, homie). And
ScHoolboy the No Face Killer returned with “Groovy Tony.”
What about Ab-Soul?! In February, the Black Lip Pastor revealed he’s locked and loaded, but riding the pine in support of the overall plan. But trust, when it’s his time? He’s coming off the bench like Crawford in the fourth.
Although we’ve yet to hear anything new from Soulo this year, there’s still a reason to celebrate. Today marks the fifth anniversary of his debut independent release, Longterm Mentality.
Released after his Longterm and Longterm 2 mixtapes, Mentality wasn’t the third in the series, but rather a summation of what “longterm” is all about.
“I wanted to do something to where all of my supporters and people that’s following me could actually witness the entire growth of the whole situation,” Ab-Soul told BlowHipHopTV. “So Longterm was just an introduction. Longterm 2 was more personal about where I was at with it in my life at that particular time. Longterm Mentality is pretty much an overview of the whole idea. I’m trying to capture my life and the essence of what I aspire to do in this business.”
Looking at the tracklist, you’ll not only see features from Kendrick, Punch and Q, but BJ the Chicago Kid, Jhené Aiko, and MURS make clutch appearances as well.
Longterm Mentality is one of my personal favorites from the TDE catalog. On point from the “Real Thinkers” intro to the bonus Black Hippy track, it’s nearly impossible to highlight a single song. So, considering “Groovy Tony” dropped last night, I’m just gonna run with “Hell Yea” with ScHoolboy Q—and a bridge from Kendrick.
Press play on the Sounwave-produced cut below and head to iTunes/Apple Music to stream/purchase the album.
Ab-Soul – “Hell Yea” f. ScHoolboy Q (prod. Sounwave)
Hell yeah we been patrollin’ the game, watching the throne/
Plotting on Jay and Kanye, Marshall and Andre/
Lil Wayne, Drake, Wiz Khalifa, Wale/
That b*tch Nicki, J. Cole, Rozay/
In 2011, the DopeHouse also held its annual charity BBQ in LA and the TDE fam was in full effect.