She’s probably the most powerful woman in hip-hop right now, but what’s encouraging is that she seems to be carving a self-made path that allows for contradictions, imperfections, variabilities. Cardi B got here by rapping her face off, and on Invasion Of Privacy, she determines to stay here by doing it for—well, nine more tracks. So far, so good.
The video-game melancholia and digital ephemera of I Don’t Like Shit showed how purposeful the blown-out sonics of the SoundCloud era can be when paired with a generational talent, but Some Rap Songs places Earl’s aesthetic within a longer timeline, reaching back to the atmospheric, bomb-shelter style of turn-of-the-millennium backpack rap, as well as the early-’90s golden age to which that nodded.
From beginning to end, Room 25 is a testimony to the power of telling your story and the hope that can be found in doing so without apology
It’s all dope-boy come-up stories, subliminal shit-talk, and luxury at a level only possible to convey via fine-art name-dropping and whatever the fuck a “caviar facial” is. For the first time since going solo, it all feels of a piece.
There’s an introspective urgency to Saba’s songs, like they’re the only thing keeping the 23-year-old from succumbing to the systemic and social madness that surrounds him on Chicago’s West Side, and that rawness has only expanded on sophomore effort Care For Me.