SABA is a 27 year old MC/producer from Chicago, Illinois who came up as the co-founder of the Pivot Gang collective a decade back. He then broke out in the fall of 2016 off the full-length solo debut Bucket List Project, but it wasn’t until his sophomore effort CARE FOR ME where his potential would be put on a much more broader display. A lot of people (including myself) have been patiently waiting to hear this 3rd album of his ever since & I’m so happy that the day’s finally come.
Cheflee tags along for the colorful opener “Free Samples” confessing it gets harder to spend less as you get more famous whereas “1 Way or Every N***a With a Budget” goes into a funkier, boom bappy direction talking about how there’s a million ways to get by. “Survivor’s Guilt” has this more energetic tone expressing his desire to get rich & G Herbo detailing still being wild even though he is rich but then “An Interlude Called “Circus”” mixes some hi-hats & an acoustic guitar reminiscing on the days before their first tape dropped.
Meanwhile on “Fearmonger”, we have SABA on top of a summery boom bap beat confessing his feeling of hunger just before Krayzie Bone comes into the picture for the heavenly “Come My Way” talking about thinkin’ how to get some money & then they’ll be good. “Still” has a more enticing vibe as he & Smino get romantic, but then the Mereba-assisted “A Simpler Time” takes a more settler route continuing to get more reflective lyrically.
“Soldier” reveals itself to be a hypnotizing Pivot Gang posse cut proclaiming that they’ll be buried as legends whereas “If I Had a Dollar” with Benjamin Earl Turner weaves in an acoustic guitar talking about he’d be rich if he got paid every time he failed. “Stop That” showcases some stellar flows even the the instrumental isn’t all that great while the track “Make Believe” is a touching open letter to SABA’s mother.
The penultimate song “2012” works in a peaceful instrumental detailing why that particular year will always hold a special place in his heart & the title track couldn’t have finished the album any better as Black Thought of none other than The Roots pops in for an epic 3-parter to talk about going back where they started.
I might catch some heat from people for saying this which I’m completely fine with because I’m used to people coming at me for saying how I feel, but this is what Cordae’s latest album From a Bird’s Eye View should’ve been. SABA’s lyricism is more transparent than it’s ever been & the production that’s backing these subject matters are just completely breathtaking.