Chicago rapper Saba has released his new album Few Good Things. The third album from the Pivot Gang co-founder, this follows his acclaimed 2018 LP Care For Me and features the likes of Pivot Gang, Black Thought, Krayzie Bone, 6LACK, Day Wave, Smino, Mereba, Fousheé, Benjamin Earl Turner.
In a statement introducing the album, Saba says that this album isn’t just about grief and trauma, but also the “full spectrum of black emotion.” The scope of those emotions and actions can be found across the LP. As he says, “We grieve. And we also celebrate. And we fuck. And we get money. And we been broke. We get happy. And we get high. And we are more than one thing all at the same time.”
The project feels sonically very cohesive. There are songs that are chiller and smoother like “One Way or Every N***a With a Budget,” exploring the idea that there is more than one way to exist in the business and travel through life. Do what works for you to achieve success. The single “Come My Way” falls into the same category sonically, working with an outstanding hook.
Like some past records, Saba does explore the pain and hardship of his surroundings. It isn’t the focal point, but a critical view of the world and poverty is there, especially on songs like “Make Believe.”
There is a plenty about his world and his upbringing. The bouncy “Survivor’s Guilt” touches on the theme of how him and G Herbo made it, but others seem to be left behind, whether physically or emotionally. “Soldier” looks at the upbringing of another, his daughter, and the weight and challenge of being a father.
The finale and title track is a seven-minute meditation on despite the fact things can be shit, there are always people, thoughts and places that can be held onto for comfort. One the most consistently great rappers today, Black Thought, comes in to steal the show on this track.
“The concept of Few Good Things is the realization of self after a search for exterior fulfillment. It is the satisfaction and completeness you gain by simply living a life that is yours. Few is a small number, but few is not lonely,” explains Saba. “In the face of all adversity, a few good things is recognizing and accepting blessings. Few is to count them, one by one – an empty glass is full of air, an empty bank is full of lessons., and an empty heart is full of memories. Few good things is to grow comfortable with the empty, and despite that, finding your fullness.”
The features fit seamlessly into the project, whether it is G Herbo on “Survivor’s Guilt” or Smino and 6LACK on “Still.” There is a larger vision that everyone bought into.
He wants you to listen and really immerse yourself in the stories of friends, family, colleagues and the world around him. Throw away the preconceived notions for Saba, while also being mindful of what his past work has told you about him. Saba attempts to find the balance in life between the despair and trauma and the good things, even if there are only a few, that make all of this worth it. Find it with him by listening here. Saba is going on tour this spring and you can find tickets here.