Saba, Joseph Chilliams, Mfn Melo, Dinnerwithjohn | Lincoln Hall | Hip-Hop | Chicago Reader
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click to enlarge Saba

Saba

Danielle A. Scruggs

Saba, Joseph Chilliams, Mfn Melo, Dinnerwithjohn 

When: Fri., Jan. 6, 6:30 p.m. 2017
Price: sold out
In June rapper-producer and Pivot Gang cofounder Saba rented an Airbnb in Los Angeles along with rapper Noname and producer-singer Phoelix. There he recorded the bulk of October’s Bucket List Project (Saba Pivot LLC) while Noname worked on her debut, Telefone, each effort ultimately exuding a distinct sense of Chicago as translated through the sui generis style of its creator. On Saba’s effervescent, R&B-smooth “Stoney”—particularly during the stretch about listening to his friends’ music while riding in a Buick driven by Pivot Gang producer Squeak—the slippery, springing flow brings to mind the joy of camaraderie and the playful specifics of his corner of Chicago. That’s not to mention that the MC came up with the hook for “Church/Liquor Store” while gazing out the window of the Division bus as it passed through the west side. Saba captures the fine-grain details of his life in Austin, but many of the best moments on Bucket List Project transcend time and place even as they’re making reference to specific locations. “Westside Bound 3,” which features Saba’s brother Joseph Chilliams, is as perfect a pop song as any from the past year. Tonight is Saba’s first hometown show in support of the record, and he’s brought Pivot Gang to really make things feel like home.
— Leor Galil
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