When we talk about young, visionary, independent hip-hop artists from Chicago we tend to head right for Chance the Rapper
, whose Coloring Book
mixtape remains one of the top hip-hop projects out right now (a good 5 months after its release). But behind Chance stands an incredible group of indie hip-hop talents, admittedly in the shadows for now but beginning to spring out into the light of popular fandom. This group includes Chance's band The Social Experiment, the collective Savemoney, and countless other independent Chance-associated artists. Two of the finest of these associates are Saba and Noname, both of whom made appearances on Chance's 2013 effort Acid Rap
and 2016's Coloring Book
Saba's new single "Church/Liquor Store" will appear on his upcoming Bucket List Project
, which is available for pre-order on iTunes now, ahead of a planned October 27th release. The single was posted to Saba's Soundcloud today, and can also be purchased on iTunes. The previously released "GPS" and "Symmetry" also appear to show up on Bucket List Project
, but are not available on any platforms beside Soundcloud. "Church/Liquor Store" features a guest verse from Noname and production from frequent collaborator Cam O'bi.
The track has a similar feel to much of Noname's recent project Telefone
, with emphatic and sometimes dark lyrics over the groovy, light feel of O'bi's beat. Saba and Noname take a hard look at the troubles plaguing Chicago, including the prison system, violence, police tensions, and gentrification. Saba paints poignant and heartbreaking pictures: "a stray bullet will take your firstborn like the tenth plague" and "there's no logic in love, but there's no love in the streets." In a short verse, Noname goes after the prison pipeline and gentrification in her signature relaxed, almost deadpan tone. Chicago singer Akenya provides additional vocals to Saba's hook, and the rest is history. A beautiful, socially conscious track that points to the vitality and importance of this young crop of Chicago talent.
Listen to "Church/Liquor Store" above. And look out for Saba's Bucket List Project
, which will feature additional touches from a number of previous Saba and Noname collaborators, as well as older names like Twista and Matthew Santos.