TIDAL Rising Artist of the Week: Saba
It should be no coincidence that comfort is a major theme in Chicago rapper Saba’s catalogue. Since emerging with the 2012 mixtape GETCOMFORTable, the West Side rep born Tahj Malik Chandler has turned hip-hop into his own comfort zone, flipping his introversion and observations on life, struggle and wellness into rap songs filled with relatable nuggets. Not only does he create therapeutic music for the underrated but he tackles subjects that may not fall under the genre’s typical trending topics of riches and drugs.
Take “LOGOUT“ featuring frequent collaborator Chance The Rapper off his latest album, Care For Me, for example. On the hook, Saba contemplates the significance of double taps and flooding your feed in the age of Instagram flexin’. “If you press logout, you get forgotten/ What’s a post, but a reminder just how boring our lives are,” he says on the hook. “Look at how much fun I’m havin’/ Ain’t’ no beauty in the absence, of broadcastin’ to your followers.”
The 23-year-old rhyme-slinger first fell in love with hip-hop when a young Saba heard the rap classic “Notorious Thugs” from The Notorious B.I.G. and Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, a song that offered him a primer on flows, cadences and storytelling on wax. After gaining fame on the local circuit in Chicago, he eventually landed show-stealing features on Chance The Rapper’s “Everybody’s Something” off Chance’s Acid Rap mixtape and “Angels” from his 2016 effort Coloring Book. These days, Saba is more than capable of operating on the mic with his own co-sign and continues to write his way into hip-hop excellence alongside his PIVOT gang.
If his fanbase is any indication of his reach, Sacramento Kings guard Iman Shumpert and Dreamville president, Ibrahim Hamad, count themselves as followers but Saba’s introspective projects like the aforementioned Care For Me and the Shumpert favorite, Bucket List Project, have garnered him loyalists beyond the Chi. Stay tuned for the full interview and a specially curated playlist from Saba, both hitting TIDAL later this week.
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