Saba (rapper)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Birth nameTahj Malik Chandler
Born (1994-07-17) July 17, 1994 (age 28)
Chicago, Illinois
GenresHip hop
Years active2012–present

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] He is a co-founder of the musical collective Pivot Gang with his brother Joseph Chilliams, their late cousin John Walt, and their high school friend MFn Melo. He is also one third of the supergroup Ghetto Sage, with Smino and Noname.[2]

Saba initially gained recognition after releasing two independent mixtapes: GETCOMFORTable (2012) and ComfortZone (2014). He was also featured 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.[3] He released his debut album Bucket List Project on October 27, 2016, and his sophomore album CARE FOR ME on April 5, 2018, to widespread critical acclaim.[4] Saba’s third album, Few Good Things released February 4, 2022.

Early life[edit]

Saba began playing piano at age 7, which led to experimentation with beat making software.[5] He began high school at 12 and graduated at 16 with a 3.5 GPA.[1] He attended St. Joseph's in the suburban Chicago village, Westchester.[1] Saba would hand out mixtapes in his high school hallways to get his name out.[citation needed] 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.[5] He attended Columbia College Chicago but dropped out after three semesters after his scholarship was dropped.[6]

Music 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."[5] 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. The mixtape was released in July 2014. Saba used the album as a window into his life, produced the majority of the tracks on the project. He describes his surrounding and his optimistic attitude in his verses.[5] The most popular song off ComfortZone was "Burnout" featuring Eryn Allen Kane.

2015–2017: Bucket List Project[edit]

Saba contributed to Chance the Rapper and Donnie Trumpet and the Social Experiment's debut studio album, Surf, by making a guest feature on its 10th 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.[7] In July 2016, Saba also appeared on Noname's debut album, Telefone, on the song "Shadow Man" alongside Phoelix and Smino.

In 2017, Saba released singles titled "Monday to Monday", "There You Go", and "Where Ideas Sing", however, had 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.

In late 2017, after the tragic passing of cousin and fellow Pivot Gang member John Walt, Saba and Walt's mother Nachelle started the John Walt Foundation in his memory.[8]

2018–2020: CARE FOR ME[edit]

On February 27, 2018, Saba released the track "BUSY", shortly after announcing a tour for his second album CARE FOR ME.[9] He released CARE FOR ME on April 5, 2018, with tracks featuring Chance the Rapper, Kaina, and theMIND.[10] Put together by producers daedaePIVOT, Daoud, and Saba himself, the album is dedicated to his late cousin and close friend Walter Long Jr. aka John Walt; who was fatally stabbed due to a situation on the train in Chicago in February 2017. Walter is heavily mentioned in the songs: "BUSY", "LIFE", and "PROM/KING". the latter recounts the events that Saba and Walter shared with each other leading up to Walter's death.[11]

Saba was named one of 10 "Chicagoans of the Year" by the Chicago Tribune on December 27, 2018, for his music and his contributions to the John Walt Foundation, a foundation named in Walter Long's memory launched by Saba and Long's mother in 2017 to "foster the arts for Chicago youth".[12]

Saba and the other members of Pivot Gang released their debut album, You Can't Sit With Us on April 19, 2019.[13]

2021–present: Few Good Things[edit]

On May 21, 2021, Saba featured on the Audrey Nuna single "Top Again" off the album A Liquid Breakfast, along with making an appearance in the associated music video.[14]

On November 4, 2021, Saba announced his third album Few Good Things and released the first single titled "Fearmonger".[15] On November 18, he released the second single titled "Stop That".[16] On January 13, 2022, he released the third single "Come My Way" featuring Krayzie Bone.[17] The fourth single "Survivor's Guilt" featuring G Herbo was released on January 27.[18] The album was released on February 4, 2022, including guest appearances from Black Thought, G Herbo, Krayzie Bone, 6lack, Smino, Mereba, Fousheé, Eryn Allen Kane, Cheflee, and Pivot Gang.[19]



Saba was influenced by his father, a Chicago R&B artist named Chandlar, at a young age.[20] 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.[5]

Saba was also influenced by his family members, most notably his older brother and late cousin. His brother is a rapper who goes by the stage name 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."[21]


Studio albums[edit]

List of studio albums with selected details
Title Album details
Bucket List Project
  • Released: April 5, 2018
  • Label: Saba Pivot, LLC
  • Formats: Digital download, vinyl
Few Good Things
  • Released: February 4, 2022
  • Label: Saba Pivot, LLC
  • Formats: Digital download


List of mixtapes with selected details
Title Album details
Get Comfortable
  • Released: December 21, 2012[22]
  • Label: Saba Pivot, LLC.
  • Formats: Digital download
Comfort Zone
  • Released: July 15, 2014[23]
  • Label: Saba Pivot, LLC.
  • Formats: Digital download

Compilation albums[edit]

List of studio albums with selected details
Title Album details
  • Released: October 15, 2013
  • Formats: Digital download
You Can't Sit With Us
  • Released: April 19, 2019
  • Formats: Digital download

Extended plays[edit]

List of extended plays with selected details
Title Album details


As lead artist[edit]

List of singles as lead artist, showing year released and album name
Title Year Album
(featuring Twista)
2016 Bucket List Project
"Westside Bound 3"
(featuring Joseph Chilliams)
"World In My Hands"
(featuring Smino & LEGIT)
"Monday to Monday"[25] Non-album singles
"There You Go"[26]
"Where Ideas Sing"
(featuring Daoud)[27]
"How You Live"
(featuring MfnMelo)[28]
"Busy"[29] 2018 Care For Me
"Stay Right Here"
(featuring Xavier Omar & Mick Jenkins)[31]
Non-album singles
"Beautiful Smile"
(featuring IDK)[32]
(featuring daedaePIVOT)[34]
"Where It's At"[35]
"Mrs. Whoever"[36] 2020
"Something in the Water"
(featuring Denzel Curry)[36]
"So and So"[37]
"Areyoudown? Pt.2"
(featuring Tobi Lou)[37]
"Ziplock"[38] 2021
"Rich Don't Stop"[38]
"Black Astronaut"[39]
(featuring Daoud)[40]
Few Good Things
"Stop That"[41]
"Come My Way"
(featuring Krayzie Bone)[42]
"Survivor's Guilt"
(featuring G Herbo)[43]

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 JID and Saba)
2017 Non-album single
(Ursa The Chef featuring Cub-J, Michael King and Saba)
"Top Again"[14]
(Audrey Nuna featuring Saba)
2021 A Liquid Breakfast

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
"Own Two (Hold You Down)" 2013 The Palmer Squares Finna
"Everybody's Something" Chance the Rapper, BJ the Chicago Kid Acid Rap
"Bacteria/Fungi/Virus" Vic Spencer The Rapping Bastard
"Ugly Duckling" 2014 Trevor the Trash Man Hell Yeah | 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 Non-album single
"VIP" Chris Crack, Sulaiman Public Domain 4
"Givenchy Coasters" Chris Crack Non-album single
"Faded" 2016 Sir Collins, Gianni Ready Or Not
"Buddha" Phoelix Non-album single
"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" Isaiah G & Aaron Deux Grown Adolescence
"Energies" 2017 Mick Jenkins Or More; the Anxious
"360" Zack Villere Adult Swim Singles 2017
"Ace" 2018 Noname, Smino Room 25
"Basquiat" 2019 Jamila Woods Legacy! Legacy!
"Sacrifices" EarthGang, J. Cole, Smino Revenge of the Dreamers III
"What a Life" MFnMelo Everybody Eats
"Spin Move"[47] 2020 Bas, Smino, The Hics Revenge of the Dreamers III: Director's Cut
"Plead The .45th"[48] 2021 Smino Judas and the Black Messiah: The Inspired Album
"Birdsong" Lute, JID Gold Mouf


  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.


  • ComfortZone Live (2015)
  • Bucket List Tour (2017)
  • Care For Me Tour (2018)
  • Care For Me Tour Aus/Asia (2018)
  • Care For Me Tour Europe (2019)
  • You Can't Sit With Us Tour (2019)
  • Back Home - A Tour By Saba (2022)


  1. ^ a b c d Krzeczowski, Jake. "Saba's West Side Story Is One Worth Listening To". Noisey. Vice. Retrieved 30 January 2016.
  2. ^ Renshaw, David. "Noname, Saba, and Smino form supergroup Ghetto Sage". Rolling Stone.
  3. ^ Lipshutz, Jason. "Chance the Rapper's "Angels" Single Performs on "Stephen Colbert"". Fuse. Fuse. Retrieved 30 January 2016.
  4. ^ "Saba: CARE FOR ME". Pitchfork. Retrieved 2019-03-07.
  5. ^ a b c d e "Bio". Saba Pivot. Haight. Retrieved 30 January 2016.
  6. ^ Gathright, Jennu (November 15, 2017). "What An Indie Rapper Named Saba Teaches Us About Artistic Freedom". NPR. Archived from the original on June 21, 2021.
  7. ^ Mench, Chris (October 28, 2016). "Saba's New Project 'Bucket List'". Complex. Retrieved November 1, 2016.
  8. ^ "John Walt Foundation". John Walt Foundation. Retrieved 2019-01-23.
  9. ^ Schatz, Lake (February 27, 2018). "Saba stays "Busy" with new single and video: Watch". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved April 5, 2018.
  10. ^ Rinder, Grant. "Saba Releases Candid, Introspective Album 'Care For Me'". Pigeons & Planes.
  11. ^ "Why Saba's Candid 'Care for Me' Album Tugged at So Many Heartstrings [Recap]". Okayplayer. 2018-04-05. Retrieved 2019-03-07.
  12. ^ Kot, Greg. "Chicagoan of the Year: Rapper Saba turns grief into a year of musical catharsis". Retrieved 2019-01-07.
  13. ^ "Pivot Gang: You Can't Sit With Us". Pitchfork. Retrieved 2020-04-26.
  14. ^ a b Williams, Aaron (May 21, 2021). "Audrey Nuna And Saba Get Reflective In The Surreal 'Top Again' Video". Uproxx. Archived from the original on May 21, 2021.
  15. ^ "Saba Announces New Album Few Good Things, Shares New Song "Fearmonger": Listen". Pitchfork.
  16. ^ "Watch Saba's Video for New Song "Stop That"". Pitchfork.
  17. ^ ""Come My Way" [ft. Krayzie Bone]". Pitchfork.
  18. ^ "Saba Recruits G Herbo for New Song "Survivor's Guilt"". Complex.
  20. ^ Goddard, Kevin. "Saba - GPS Feat. Chandlar [New Song]". Hot New Hip Hop. Retrieved 30 January 2016.
  21. ^ G, Lucas. "From Saba to FRSH Waters, Your Guide to Pivot Gang". Dj Booth. Purenine Studios. Retrieved 30 January 2016.
  22. ^ "Saba – GETCOMFORTable". Audiomack. Retrieved August 13, 2018.
  23. ^ "ComfortZone by SABA". SoundCloud. Retrieved August 13, 2018.
  24. ^ "Saba Releases Instrumental EP, 'SpareChange!'". Hypebeast. September 26, 2015. Retrieved August 13, 2018.
  25. ^ "Monday to Monday - Single by Saba on Apple Music". iTunes. Retrieved January 20, 2017.
  26. ^ "There You Go". Apple Music. Retrieved February 4, 2022.
  27. ^ "Where Ideas Sing". Apple Music. Retrieved February 4, 2022.
  28. ^ "How You Live". Apple Music. Retrieved February 4, 2022.
  29. ^ "Busy". iTunes. Retrieved March 22, 2018.
  30. ^ "Life". iTunes. Retrieved March 22, 2018.
  31. ^ "Stay Right Here". Apple iTunes. Retrieved September 14, 2019.
  32. ^ "Beautiful Smile". Apple Music. Retrieved February 4, 2022.
  33. ^ "Excited". Apple Music. Retrieved February 4, 2022.
  34. ^ "Papaya". Apple iTunes. Retrieved September 14, 2019.
  35. ^ "Where It's At". Apple iTunes. Retrieved September 14, 2019.
  36. ^ a b "Mrs. Whoever / Something in the Water". Apple Music. Retrieved February 4, 2022.
  37. ^ a b "So and So / Areyoudown? Pt. 2". Apple Music. Retrieved February 4, 2022.
  38. ^ a b "Ziplock / Rich Don't Stop". Apple Music. Retrieved February 4, 2022.
  39. ^ "Black Astronaut". Apple Music. Retrieved February 4, 2022.
  40. ^ "Fearmonger". Apple Music. Retrieved February 4, 2022.
  41. ^ "Stop That". Apple Music. Retrieved February 4, 2022.
  42. ^ "Come My Way". Apple Music. Retrieved February 4, 2022.
  43. ^ "Survivor's Guilt". Apple Music. Retrieved February 4, 2022.
  44. ^ "Chance the Rapper – Chart History: Hot 100". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved May 26, 2016.
  45. ^ "Chance the Rapper – Chart History: R&B/Hip-Hop Songs". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved May 25, 2016.
  46. ^ "Angels (feat. Saba) - Single by Chance the Rapper on Apple Music". Retrieved July 30, 2016.
  47. ^ "Dreamville Share "Revenge Of The Dreamers III Deluxe" Tracklist & Cover Art". HotNewHipHop. Retrieved 16 January 2020.
  48. ^ A.D., Amorosi. "Jay-Z, Nipsey Hussle Collab Joins Golden Globe-Nominated H.E.R. on 'Judas and the Black Messiah: The Inspired Album'". Variety. Retrieved February 11, 2021.

External links[edit]