Saba Explores Social Anxiety & Depression In Powerful New Video
For any creator who considers social anxiety a personal adversary, one of life’s grandest conundrums is embracing the opportunity that comes along with the perception of your art, while simultaneously being immune to opinion crippling your creative process. Anxiety, depression, and digesting hardship are lonely climates to navigate, and can be viciously paralyzing when concurrent within one’s journey. Verbally expressing your internal struggles, especially on a large scale, is an overwhelmingly terrifying notion. Disclosing that anguish though is often times not only therapeutic, but absolutely imperative to your perseverance and continued innovation.
While PIVOT Gang MC, Saba, who is one of Chicago’s most promising talents, has a body of work filled with transparency, it is on his new single “Busy” in which the Hip-Hop arena sees the insightful 23-year-old lyricist at his most vulnerable to date. Sharing his battles with anxiety, depression, lost loved ones, infidelity, and the discomfort aligned with increased notoriety, it is apparent from the jump that “Busy” is an exploration into substantial subject matter. Within the first 30 seconds, paired with some ominous visuals, Saba conveys “I’ve been this awkward since adolescence / I don’t know how long I had depression.”
Hailing from the perilous Austin neighborhood on the Westside of Chicago, Saba has consistently utilized his catalog, beginning in 2012, as a bonafide verbal diary. Along with any geographical hindrances, Saba has articulated his personal hardships throughout his music, including his father leaving him at a young age, to both his mentor Brother Mike, and his uncle passing (immediately after being released from prison) in 2014. Most recently though, and what really quelled the PIVOT Gang captain’s morale, was the sudden murder of his cousin, dear friend, and collaborator John Walt. Sharing his agony on “Busy” regarding the slaying, Saba vents “Jesus got killed for our sins, Walter got killed for a coat / I’m try’na cope / But it’s a part of me gone and apparently I’m alone.”
After two celebrated releases in Comfort Zone (2012) and Bucket List Project (2016), paired with his achievements in working closely with Chance The Rapper, 2017 became less about music, and more about grasping the reality of tragedy. Although he unveiled a handful of singles and features throughout the past year, it’s with the release of “Busy,” his first music of 2018, that Saba is seemingly glaring his demons in the eye and finding both strength and peace in sharing his uneasiness.
Endearingly modest and coy in the flesh, it is through his music that Saba exhibits undeniable self-assurance and purpose. While there isn’t necessarily any concrete optimism or resolution lined within “Busy,” as it remains morose throughout, he achieves something much greater by simply broadcasting his grief and insecurities. Especially in a current atmosphere where mental illness is being assessed more intently, Saba’s sincerity and candidness is a powerful reminder that whether an audience of one or an audience of millions, simply sharing your story and the pain within it can be the vital catalyst to ultimately mending it.
Saba recently announced the “Care For Me” tour, which he will headline and commences in April.