Saba, one of my favorite up-and-coming rappers, dropped his sophomore album Care For Me, which serves as the follow-up to one of my personal favorite albums of 2016, Bucket List Project, and already I can tell this album will be in the running for my favorite album of the year.
His growth as an artist really shines through on this mature album that deals with themes of depression and isolation. He speaks on these topics articulately, using different stories and metaphors to convey these feelings.
On the poignant song "Grey," we find Saba with a very glass half-empty mentality, saying "The best song is probably on the B-Side / Won't be surprised when the label deny / This so grey, grey." He contemplates the pressures of being an artist, touching on how labels aren't interested in how honest, but only how popular, their art is.
The production on this album as a whole is very cohesive, and the beat for "Grey" is surely a standout track. The dreary keys paired with the sweetest of all horns, as well as this raw snare that simply knocks, created such a emotive vibe for this song. The great matching of instrumentation to lyrics on this album is something that Saba did extremely well.
Care For Me highlights his versatility, with tracks with him singing like "Sirens," to "Prom/King," a concept song that vividly tells the story of his cousin and rapper John Walt's death. Be sure to check out this album from Saba as he truly deserves the recognition for a hip-hop album as personal, conscious and as well crafted as this is.