In 2016, rolling out selected Saba as one of the top five Chicago artists to check for. Since then he has released the critically acclaimed Bucket List and most recently Care For Me. Saba comes from the tradition of the spoken word that is prominent in Chicago. His level of skill is undeniable. He is extremely vulnerable on this project and it feels like a deep dive into his thoughts. On the first lyric of the first song on the album “Busy/Sirens (feat. theMIND)” Saba says, “I’m so alone, but all of my friends all of my friends got some shit to do all em got plans I called up I beg and text em they never cross me like bad pedestrians, been this awkward since adolescence I don’t know how long I had depression.” The first song essentially sets the tone for the entire project and you are pulled into the world of Saba who is a young man mourning his cousin/brother John Walt who was stabbed to death in February of 2017 in Chicago. It feels like this album is a dedication to him.
A brooding bass line sets the mood on the song “Life” where he says, “I got Angels runnin way, I got demons hunting me I know Pac was 25, I know Jesus 33, I tell death to keep his distance I know he obsessed with me.” It starts off as some emo anthem but amps up as if he is one who is fighting for his life, he flows effortlessly bouncing over every bass pluck.
The standout track on the project is “SMILE.” By the time we get to this track we have traveled with Saba in his mind, he has been honest and open and this specific song is a catharsis. He recollects his upbringing, how the family is important and reminds us to smile.
Saba did the unconventional and released the project on Thursday instead of Friday. It was pretty ingenious ’cause he didn’t get lost in the noise. Saba leveraged Twitter to signal the release and said, “Make sure on the first listen of #CAREFORME you are alone. You have to listen by yourself to fully understand.”
— SABA (@sabaPIVOT) April 5, 2018
Saba has established himself as yet another exemplary emcee and artist from Chicago. It is going to be exciting to watch his career grow. Watch the video for “LIFE” below.