Saba, Madison McFerrin and more team up on "head.rap" - WXPN | Vinyl At Heart

The collective power of community has always been a key part of Chicago rapper Saba’s musical work. He’s a member of two rap groups: Ghetto Sage with Noname and Smino and Pivot Gang, a collective he founded with his brother Joseph Chilliams.

On his new single “head.rap,” Saba teams up with three of modern R&B’s most exciting artists. The song begins with the gorgeous falsetto stylings of Madison McFerrin (check out her WXPN Key Studio Session and Free At Noon concert) over a minimal, buoyant beat. Then, Saba starts spitting bars about his hair-growth journey and love for his locs, first stemming from the inspiration of Pharcyde’s “Runnin” video. On the chorus, the highly underrated soul singer Ogi and rising St. Louis rapper Jordan Ward offer a double dose of melodic bliss. The stunningly colorful music video perfectly visualizes the song’s ode to Black joy, featuring all four artists and cameos including Chicago singer Jamila Woods. Saba dedicates the track to his uncle, producer Tommy Skillfinger, who died last year.

Saba - head.rap

Chicago rapper Saba emerged in the mid 2010’s as a vital voice in the city’s hip-hop scene and has cemented himself as one of the genre’s most consistent and lyrically skilled artists. While artists like Chief Keef were cementing drill as the sound of the city, Saba and a rising wave of emcees pursued an alternate path. Chance the Rapper, of course, became a mainstream breakout star but the scene boasts a wide array of great artists including Noname, Mick Jenkins, Phoelix, Vic Mensa, and Jean Deaux. Saba has already dropped three great albums (if you’re unfamiliar, start with 2018’s CARE FOR ME) and has been teasing a new one in collaboration with producer NO I.D. – most famous for his collaborations with Windy City legends Common and Kanye.

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