Self-described "ultra nerd" rapper and producer Saba (Tahj Malik Chandler) grew up on the West Side of Chicago, specifically within the Austin neighborhood, as part of a deeply musical family.
That's also where he formed Pivot Gang, a group of longtime associates that has featured, among others, his brother Jerrel (aka Joseph Chilliams), cousin John Walt, Logan Yutters (aka MFn Melo), Frsh Waters, and DJ Damnage. Saba himself has recorded several mixtapes -- his first were issued while he was an introverted high schooler -- and gained traction with ComfortZone, a 2014 release inspired by his father's neo-soul recordings that capitalized on his contributions to awareness-raising tracks by fellow Chicagoans Chance the Rapper
and Mick Jenkins
. In 2015, Saba appeared as featured artist on several cuts, including Chance
's "Angels," Jenkins
' "Slumber," and Odd Couple's "What Kings Do." Additionally, he released the reflective Tink collaboration "Temporary," one of his most commercial songs to date. In late 2016, Saba self-released the LP Bucket List Project, featuring artists like fellow Chicagoan Noname
and rapper Twista
. He followed with a series of singles, including "Monday to Monday," "There You Go," and "Busy." ~ Andy Kellman