Born in Germany, on the military base where his father was stationed, Herbert Anthony Stevens IV is a rapper that performs under the name of Ab-Soul. After having spent several childhood years in Germany, Stevens and his mother moved to L.A. when his parents divorced. At a young age he was hospitalized with Stevens-Johnson syndrome, hindering his vision and skin configuration. Motivated by his job in the family-owned record store, Stevens started writing raps at age 12. While he grew as a writer he finally signed his first contract with StreetBeat Entertainment in 2005. However, it wasn't until 2007 that Ab-Soul officially became part of top-notch label Top Dawg Entertainment (TDE), together with fellow artists Jay Rock and Kendrick Lamar (then named K-Dot). Two years later, Ab-Soul teamed up with label-mates Schoolboy Q, Jay Rock and Kendrick Lamar to form the immensely popular rap group Black Hippy. Early 2009 he released the mixtape Longterm followed by Longterm 2 in 2010, the first two parts of a four-installment series. Before the release of his 2014 album These Days, spawning the hit single "Stigmata," Ab-Soul had already dropped the official albums Longterm Mentality and Control System since his arrival at TDE.