Saba (rapper)

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Birth name Tahj Malik Chandler
Born (1994-07-17) July 17, 1994 (age 23)
Chicago, Illinois
Genres Hip hop
Years active 2012-present
Labels Independent
Associated acts Chance the Rapper, Noname, Mick Jenkins, Jamila Woods, Twista, Sylvan LaCue

Tahj Malik Chandler (born July 17, 1994), better known by his stage name Saba (stylized as SABA), is an American rapper and record producer. He grew up in the Austin neighborhood of the West Side of Chicago.[1]

In April 2013 Saba gained recognition with his verse on Chance the Rapper's mixtape Acid Rap, in the song "Everybody's Something". In 2015, Saba and Chance the Rapper collaborated on the song "Angels". The duo performed the song live on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, on October 26, 2015.[2]

Early life[edit]

Saba excelled in elementary school and skipped two grades.[citation needed] He began playing piano at age 7, which led to experimentation with beat making software.[3] He began high school at 12 and graduated at 16 with a 3.5 GPA.[1] He attended St. Joseph's in the Chicago suburb, Westchester.[1] Saba would pass out mixtapes in his high school hallways to get his name out there.

At age 16, Saba began performing at YouMedia Center and Young Chicago Authors (YCA) in the Wicker Park neighborhood of Chicago.[1] These after school open mics gave Saba the confidence and charisma he portrays on stages today.[3]

Musical career[edit]

2012-2014: GETCOMFORTable and ComfortZone[edit]

In December 2012, Saba shared his first project, GETCOMFORTable. The album is a "catalogue of young Chicago talents who join Saba in trying to make sense of themselves as rising adults in today’s world."[3] The most popular song off of GETCOMFORTable was "Heaux" featuring well-known Chicago rapper, Mick Jenkins.

In 2013, Chance the Rapper and Saba joined forces on Chance the Rapper's album Acid Rap. Saba's verse in the song "Everybody's Something" increased his popularity.

Saba continued rapping in 2013 and began to create his second mixtape, ComfortZone. ComfortZone was released in July 2014. Saba used the album as a window into his life. He describes his surrounding and his optimistic attitude in his verses.[3] The most popular song off ComfortZone was "Burnout" featuring Eryn Allen Kane. Saba not only rapped on all 14 songs but he also produced the majority of them.

2015-2017: Bucket List Project[edit]

Saba contributed to Chance the Rapper and Donnie Trumpet and the Social Experiment's album Surf on the song "SmthnThtIWant". The album was released in May 2015 for free on iTunes.

Saba released an instrumental EP called SpareChange! in 2015. The EP consists of 8 tracks available through Soundcloud. Toward the end of 2015 as well, Saba featured on Chance the Rapper's single "Angels". Chance the Rapper and Saba performed the song "Angels" on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert on Monday, October 26, 2015. Saba's popularity skyrocketed from his Stephen Colbert performance. The duo represented Chicago's radio stations, with sweatshirts reading "107.5 WGCI" and "Power 92.3" for the performance.

In January 2016, Saba released the single "GPS" featuring his father and musical influence, Chandlar. The single was included in his debut album, Bucket List Project, released on October 27, 2016. The album consists of 13 tracks featuring a wide array of other Chicago based artists such as Noname, Twista, Akenya, Jean Deaux, and his brother Joseph Chilliams. The album focuses on his upbringing on the West Side and spirituality. [4] In July 2016, Saba also appeared on Noname's debut album, Telefone, on the song Shadow Man along-side Phoelix and Smino.

In 2017, Saba released singles titled "Monday to Monday", "There You Go", and "Where Ideas Sing", however, has not announced a subsequent project for these songs. "Where Ideas Sing" was released on September 28 2017. Shortly after, September 29, Artwork for the song was featured in downtown Chicago near Apple's new Apple Store on Michigan Avenue. The artwork was to promote both hometown artists Saba and Matthew Hoffman, who created the visual representation of Saba's lyrics.

2018: CARE FOR ME[edit]

On February 27, 2018 Saba released the track "Busy", shortly after announcing a tour for his album CARE FOR ME.[5] He released CARE FOR ME on April 5, 2018 with tracks featuring Chance the Rapper, Kaina, and theMIND.[6] The album is dedicated to his late cousin and close friend Walter Long, Jr. aka John Walt; who was stabbed to death in February of 2017 in Chicago, IL. Walter is heavily mentioned in the songs: Busy, Life, and Prom/King. However, Prom/King recounts the events that Saba and Walter shared with each other leading up to Walter's death. CARE FOR ME is Saba's second album.



Saba was influenced by his father, a Chicago R&B artist named Chandlar, at a young age.[7] Chandlar would bring Saba to the studio with him to record sounds of soul, R&B and jazz.

Saba credits fellow Midwest musicians Lupe Fiasco, Bone Thugs-n-Harmony, and Kanye West as his biggest influence. Bone Thugs-n-Harmony got Saba into rap and made him want to write raps himself.[3]

Saba also was influenced by his older brother and his older brother's friends. His brother is a rapper who goes by Joseph Chilliams and his cousin was a rapper who went by John Walt. Together, Saba's family and friends, are the backbone of the rap crew Pivot Gang. Pivot Gang is named after the famous scene in Friends where Ross, Rachel, and Chandler move a couch up the stairs and Ross continuously yells, "pivot." To the rap crew it means "to take things one step at a time and to always progress."[8]



List of Albums or Mixtapes with showing year released and Label produced with
Title Year Label
ComfortZone 2014
SpareChange! 2015
Bucket List Project 2016 Saba Pivot
CARE FOR ME 2018 Saba Pivot


As lead artist[edit]

List of singles as lead artist, with showing year released and album name
Title Year Album
"Monday to Monday"[9] 2017 non-album single
"Life" [10] 2018 Care for me
"Busy"[11] 2018 Care for me

As featured artist[edit]

List of singles as featured artist, with showing year released, peak chart positions and album name
Title Year Peak chart positions Album

(Chance the Rapper featuring Saba)
2015 [A] [B] Coloring Book
"Pay the Man (Remix)" (Foster the People featuring J.I.D and Saba) 2017 N/A "History" (Ursa The Chef featuring Cub J, Michael King and Saba) 2017 N/A

Guest appearances[edit]

List of non-single guest appearances, with other performing artists, showing year released and album name
Title Year Other artist(s) Album
"Everybody's Something" 2013 Chance the Rapper, BJ the Chicago Kid Acid Rap
"Bacteria/Fungi/Virius" Vic Spencer The Rapping Bastard
"Ugly Duckling" 2014 Trevor the Trash Man I Want It All
"Play" 2015 Rich Robbins Nimbus
"What Kings Do" Odd Couple, Carl, Taylor Bennett Chatterbox
"Equinox" Zaramela Zaramela on AuidoTree Live
"MIA" ProbCause Drifters
"SmthnthtIwnt" Donnie Trumpet & The Social Experiment Surf
"Temporary" Tink NA
"VIP" Chris Crack, Sulaiman Public Domain 4
"Givenchy Coasters" Chris Crack NA
"Faded" 2016 Sir Collins, Gianni Ready Or Not
"Buddha" Phoelix NA
"Herstory" Anthony Pavel Windows
"Shadow Man" Noname, Phoelix, Smino Telefone
"Tears of Legend" Xavier & The Trill Trill
"My Wallet" Jay IDK, Michael Christmas, Jimi Tents Empty Bank
"Riot" Trapo Shade Trees
"Dive Club" Owen Bones Dive Club
"Cornerstore" Joey Purp, TheMIND iiiDrops
"YES" 2016 Isaiah G & Aaron Deux Grown Adolescence


  1. ^ "Angels" did not enter the Billboard Hot 100, but peaked at number nineteen on the Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles chart, which acts as an extension to the Hot 100.
  2. ^ "Angels" did not enter the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, but peaked at number 4 on the Bubbling Under R&B/Hip-Hop Singles chart, which acts as an extension to the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.


  1. ^ a b c d Krzeczowski, Jake. "Saba's West Side Story Is One Worth Listening To". Noisey. Vice. Retrieved 30 January 2016. 
  2. ^ Lipshutz, Jason. "Chance the Rapper's "Angels" Single Performs on "Stephen Colbert"". Fuse. Fuse. Retrieved 30 January 2016. 
  3. ^ a b c d e "Bio". Saba Pivot. Haight. Retrieved 30 January 2016. 
  4. ^ Mench, Chris (October 28, 2016). "Saba's New Project 'Bucket List'". Complex. Retrieved November 1, 2016. 
  5. ^ Schatz, Lake (February 27, 2018). "Saba stays "Busy" with new single and video: Watch". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved April 5, 2018. 
  6. ^ Rinder, Grant. "Saba Releases Candid, Introspective Album 'Care For Me'". Pigeons & Planes. 
  7. ^ Goddard, Kevin. "Saba - GPS Feat. Chandlar [New Song]". Hot New Hip Hop. Retrieved 30 January 2016. 
  8. ^ G, Lucas. "From Saba to FRSH Waters, Your Guide to Pivot Gang". Dj Booth. Purenine Studios. Retrieved 30 January 2016. 
  9. ^ "Monday to Monday - Single by Saba on Apple Music". iTunes. Retrieved January 20, 2017. 
  10. ^ "Life". iTunes. Retrieved March 22, 2018. 
  11. ^ "Busy". iTunes. Retrieved March 22, 2018. 
  12. ^ "Chance the Rapper – Chart History: Hot 100". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved May 26, 2016. 
  13. ^ "Chance the Rapper – Chart History: R&B/Hip-Hop Songs". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved May 25, 2016. 
  14. ^ "Angels (feat. Saba) - Single by Chance the Rapper on Apple Music". Retrieved July 30, 2016.