According to two separate polls—by Gallup and Washington Post-ABC News respectively—President Barack Obama’s overall approval rating is at 47%. And while emcees such as Lupe Fiasco have made it clear that they don’t necessarily fall into the approving percentile, Ab-Soul says his reference to the President as “a puppet” in the song “Terrorist Threats” doesn’t mean he’s anti-Obama. On the song, which also features Danny Brown and Jhene Aiko, Ab-Soul rhymes the following bars:
“Dear Barack / I know you just a puppet but I’m giving you props / You lying to the public like it ain’t nothing / And I just love it / I hope it don’t stop…”
In a recent interview with Duck Down Visuals, Ab-Soul clarified the lines.
“It didn’t even really have too much to do with his race,” Ab-Soul explained. “I just used his name because he is the current President. I always say that’s no disrespect Barack Obama. If I were to vote, I definitely would like to have him in there over anybody else.”
Apparently the Office of the President, presumably one of the many control systems Ab-Soul references with his album title, isn’t even a target. Soul added that some control systems might work for other people, and the larger point was to make listeners raise questions about their own beliefs. The full interview, which also features Ab-Soul explaining his influences and how he went from working at a record store to becoming an emcee, can be seen below.