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The Archives: SABA Chats With Jill Hopkins

Written by on October 4, 2021

Chicago-born rapper SABA has been finding his voice since he was a kid taking creative writing classes and making beats in his basement.

A year after the 2016 release of his debut studio album, The Bucket List Project, SABA sat down with Vocalo’s Jill Hopkins to discuss his upbringing on the city’s West Side as well as inspirations and significance behind the album. 

From crafting beats at home and honing his knack for lyricism as a creative writing student to performing in front of live audiences, SABA thanks programs like Young Chicago Authors and the YouMedia Center for offering him a sense of community.

“When you ask me what’s changed about Chicago Young Authors, it’s still evolving,” Saba told Jill Hopkins in 2017. “It’s a group of people that are just really writing what they feel, and that’s all you really ask for in music.”

Saba has been rising to the forefront of the Chicago rap scene ever since his first project, GETCOMFORTable, in 2012, which featured fellow Chicago rapper Mick Jenkins. A year later, Saba again garnered attention when he was featured on Chance the Rapper’s album Acid Rap. In 2016, Saba released his anticipated debut studio album, The Bucket List Project, which finished 12th on Rolling Stone’s list of 40 Best Rap Albums that year. 

With Chicago as a recurring theme in his music, it’s no surprise Saba has collaborated with many other Chicago-based artists including Noname, Twista, Jean Deaux and Saba’s own brother Joseph Chilliams.

Three years after releasing his second studio album CARE FOR ME, Saba will perform at the Metro for Chicago Fire FC’s event “Ten/Eight: A Night at the Metro” on Friday, Oct. 8, as a part of their five-day event series “A Celebration For All Chicago.” The event will feature Chicago artists SABA, Knox Fortune, DJ King Marie and Vocalo mainstay DJ Step, and vaccination is required upon entry. More information can be found on Chicago Fire FC’s website.

Follow Saba on Twitter and Instagram.

Written by Milo Keranen

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