Song of the Week breaks down and talks about the song we just can’t get out of our head each week. Find these songs and more on our Spotify Top Songs playlist. For our favorite new songs from emerging artists, check out our Spotify New Sounds playlist. This week, Chicago rapper SABA returns with a double-single, his first new music of 2021.
Chicago rapper SABA has returned this week with another set of double singles, “Ziplock” and “Rich Don’t Stop”, continuing the dual-drop format he established throughout 2020. “Ziplock” was produced by D. Phelps and Coop the Truth and marks the first new music from the emcee in 2021. (He can also be found on the soundtrack for the Oscar-nominated film Judas and the Black Messiah, appearing on “Plead The .45th” alongside Smino.) A recent press release stated that SABA is working on a full-length follow-up album to 2018’s aching, emotionally raw Care for Me. Readers may recall that Consequence touted Care for Me as the best hip-hop album of 2018 in a strong field and the third best record overall.
Despite the mid-tempo beat, the idea that “Ziplock” could be brushed off as a mellow, easy listen is quickly undercut by the story SABA is telling: one of a career trajectory that is far from over, but has put him in a vastly different space from where he began. The chorus highlights the rapper’s pride in the point he’s reached, attributing his successes to his hard work and hustle, rather than shortcuts. The accompanying music video, which bleeds “Ziplock” right into “Rich Don’t Stop”, shows him contemplative on a mid-century rooftop, sharing his thoughts in one take as if he were talking to a small group of friends.
SABA, at 26 years old, has certainly experienced his fair share of worldview-shaping moments. His conversational flow lends itself well to the way that he tells stories: personally, but with conviction. “Ziplock” shows him spending time in a moment he’s earned — he bet on himself, and that bet has paid off.
“I’m willin’ to bet it all, I’m willin’ to risk my life.”