Before Ab-Soul released his 2009 debut mixtape Longterm, when he was recording nothing but mixtape verses alongside Jay Rock and K.Dot (Kendrick Lamar), he had designs on taking pop records—yes, pop records—to radio.
In a May 2008 interview with some outlet called EdMagikTV,the Carson, California native shared his plans after being asked to introduce viewers to his brand of music.
"I do a lot of different types of music," Ab said. "I do underground, I got some pop records going, headed for the radio very soon. So look out for that."
Is there such a thing as an underground artist who makes pop records? Or an underground pop artist? Sorry, just thinking out loud.
Nearly a decade has passed since Ab revealed his musical strategy—during which time he has released two mixtapes and four albums worth of lyric-heavy material, producing a grand total of zero charting singles at Billboard—but his desire to toe that line has actually never wavered.
In 2013, Soulo released "You're Gone," a club-ready joint single with R&B singer JMSN, who he met the year prior while Kendrick was crafting his acclaimed debut good kid, m.A.A.d city. JMSN provided background vocals on "Bitch, Don't Kill My Vibe," "Sing About Me, I'm Dying of Thirst," "Bitch, Don't Kill My Vibe" and "Real."
"You're Gone" was initially marketed as the first single off an untitled collaboration project between Ab-Soul and JMSN—a project that JMSN has confirmed to DJBooth was completed—but according to both artists, "business stuff" got in the way.
Though "You're Gone" might very well be the last we'll ever hear of Poppy Soulo—which is unfortunate because his talent has always deserved a much bigger audience—the TDE MC has promised that volumes three and four in his Longterm series will be released "soon."