"Your favorite rapper's favorite writer" isn't a title that Fuse's Esteban Serrano just throws around, and it's a more than fitting introduction for Ab Liva. The Re-Up Gang member/Pusha T collaborator is finally releasing a record of his own, Born In Not Sworn In, after spending time with other hip-hop greats (and "gettin' creative" with Kanye in Mexico as he works his way through Yeezus' follow-up).
Ab swung through The Mixdown to play through some of the tracks he's been working on, and the sneak peek shows that the verses and beats are definitely going to be replay-worthy come fall.
But first things first: why did Ab wait so long to take on a solo project of his own? "Music kinda gets in the way," he explains. "I'm always being creative, so ... I was working on other things. I was grabbing beats here, grabbing beats there, and working on them when I get a little off-time. Finally, I just sat down, lumped everything together and said, 'Let me just get it right, get it tight.'"
When it comes to the tracks he's working on, some of them go to collaborators and friends, while others remain Ab Liva productions and potential singles. He's got a discerning ear, and can tell within seconds as to whether or not he'll be taking on the track himself. "I can hear tracks that I know are dope, but it might not be for me," he says. "I can say, 'This sounds dope for somebody else.' There are certain things that I hear that I feel like I can compliment, that I'm like, 'I gotta dial in on this and make sure I do something dope on here.'"
Expect cameos from Pusha T, Troy Ave, Jadakiss and others on Ab Liva's Born In Not Sworn In, which will see its release in the coming months: "Before October is out, I want to have the whole joint [out]." We can't wait. For more information on Ab Liva's solo effort, listen to the interview in full above.