Chicago MC Saba, fresh off a sold-out tour of Asia, is back, teaming up with fellow Chicago artists Mick Jenkins and Xavier Omär on the uplifting new single “Stay Right Here”.
Saba’s critically-acclaimed last album, Care For Me, not only showcases the rapper’s musical talents, it also demonstrates his sophisticated understanding of the powers of introspection. Throughout the project, he communicates his attempts to cope with the murder of his cousin, and the mental and emotional turmoil that followed the death. It tackles some daunting themes, including depression and isolation, but does so with nuance and subtlety.
However, the artist’s new single “Stay Right Here,” while continuing this introspection, assumes a much more joyous tone. Saba, over his own soulful production, reflects on his unlikely rise to fame: “This for the teachers who told me that songs won’t go a long way / But I’m a long way from home because of it, ay.” Yet in addition to acknowledging his doubters, Saba is also sure to recognize all those who supported him. In the second verse, he sings, “I sung out, ‘Oh yes I made it alive’ / Shouts to the fans and they gave me some time, yeah / Look at the love that I’m covered in.” Mick Jenkins builds on this appreciation in his verse, saying rather succinctly, “Look at all of the love around me, astounding.” Finally, the aforementioned Omär sums it up rather beautifully in the chorus, crooning, “Love me from the mountain to the grave right here / Ain’t no way it’s ever gonna change right here.”
Amidst the negativity and uncertainty becoming increasingly common in the world today, a song like “Stay Right Here” is a valuable reminder to remember (and to acknowledge) those around us who have contributed to our success thus far. Although Saba’s overarching message on this single lies in stark contrast to what he discussed on his last album, it is this juxtaposition that helps us understand just how versatile he is as an artist. Ultimately, Saba’s words on “Stay Right Here” serve as a shining example of how to successfully overcome grief, and can undoubtedly be used as inspiration for all those experiencing something similar.
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