Saba A Few Good Things The Orchard Music
Chicago rapper Saba is that rare kind of MC who can dish out life philosophy without ever feeling preachy. His last album, 2018’s Care for Me, tenderly documented the grieving process following the murder of his cousin and fellow Pivot Gang member, John Walt. On the follow-up, Few Good Things, the 27-year-old continues to make heartfelt observations about the Black experience in America (“Hand me downs I was given/ I thought they were bought for me,” he recalls on Free Samples), but over looser, funkier instrumentation that points to an artist ready to embrace change.
Fearmonger features deep intergalactic bass and a colourful, coked-out instrumental indebted to 70s heroes like Sly Stone and George Clinton. It’s a song that demands to be brought to life by a live band when Saba finally tours. Come My Way, which features an affecting verse from veteran Bone Thugs rapper Krayzie Bone, is another ray of sunshine, with the pair toasting to keeping in touch with childhood friends. Make Believe is the gorgeously cinematic highlight, on which Saba challenges his own ideas of failure: “My brain used to be filled with jealousy for what others had, among other things/ Then you sit in the same room and realise they aren’t what they seem.”
The maturity that runs through so many of these bars captures an artist in a transitional period. Indeed, while Saba spends a lot of Few Good Things looking back at his humble beginnings in his grandma’s basement, there’s a real sense that this is his biggest leap forward yet.