Chicago’s getting weird. Away from the attention grabbing drill-scene, the nihilistic soundtrack to the city’s gang wars, a growing number of artists have been creating lush, experimental music closer in spirit to the Pharcyde and De La Soul than Chief Keef. Saba, who guested on Chance the Rapper’s breakthrough mixtape ‘Acid Rap’ (one of the highlights of 2013, totally free and well worth downloading), with his mixtape ‘ComfortZone’ presents a solid collection of tracks with a couple of real highlights.
Saba is a solid MC, and whilst he lacks the obvious charisma of Chance the Rapper or Vic Mensa he shows himself to be more than capable of holding his own over a wide variety of production from the woozy, Clams Casino-esque ‘401k’ to the vintage era Kanye stylings of ‘Tell You’. Saba handles the majority of production duties, crafting impressive soundscapes for himself to rap over.
The two best moments on the mixtape are when Saba collaborates with Eryn Allen Kane – ‘Burnout’ and ‘For Y’all’ – whose Keri Hilson-esque vocals provides solid hooks and an interesting counterpoint to Saba’s verses. Whilst ‘ComfortZone’ doesn’t set the world alight these two tracks demonstrate that Saba has plenty of potential for future releases and should help fill the Chance the Rapper shaped hole in your music collection for the time being.