Album Review | Saba – Bucket List Project

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This album was released on my birthday (October 27th) last year. From what I’ve heard, Saba is a really dope MC. I just never got around to listening to this project. I think I’m gonna really enjoy it tho. I always get excited when I see a feature from him. His hook on Angels was fantastic and I loved his verse on Cornerstore. I’m not really sure what the reception for this album was like. I didn’t really see too many people talking about it. I honestly thought it was just a mixtape until like 5 minutes ago. My homie RoBoo really seemed to like it. Hopefully it’s as dope as he thinks it is.

Track 1: In Loving Memory (Prod. Phoelix & Saba)

Alright, it’s starting now. Woah… Jesus fuck… This dude is rhymin’ his fuckin ass off. “Turn a obstacle obsolete / Turn a cheek, poverty, heritage, cotton seed / I could be lotta things; lottery winner / This album autobiography; I feel like Socrates.” Holy fuck. This rhyme scheme that he carried for this whole verse is crazy. His flow is awesome too. That verse was really fuckin’ impressive. I like this hook too. The beat’s dope. Okay, this was a really nice way to open up the album. The production is very light and jazzy. I feel like I’m floating in the sky. This is dope af. 5/5

Track 2: Stoney Feat. Phoelix & BJRKNC (Prod. Phoelix & Saba)

Oh SHIT. This beat is fucking gorgeous. This production is on the level of Telefone by Noname. I really like Saba’s bouncy flow on this shit too. The first verse was dope. He’s rapping about how he used to drive around in a bucket. The hook is pretty catchy too. Man, this beat is so fucking nice. I feel like I’m laying down in a forest at night surrounded by flowers and looking up at the sky. The second verse was dope. This is a really good song. The production is absolutely fantastic and Saba’s flow was great too. The outro where Phoelix & BJRKNC were harmonizing was really nice. Oh LORD. That saxophone solo at the end was fucking amazing. This is dope af. 5/5

Track 3: GPS Feat. Twista (Prod. Cam O’Bi)

GPS

Ooooh fuck… Y’all… The production… This beat is fucking spectacular. It makes me feel like I’m floating on a cloud. His flow on the first verse was great. Jesus. I can’t believe I’ve been sleeping on this album. This is so fucking good. The hook is dope. The second verse was nice. Twista fucking killed it. This song is dope af. The production is amazing, and Saba’s flow was awesome. This is my favorite track so far. I definitely fuck with this shit. 5/5

Track 4: Church / Liquor Store Feat. Noname (Prod. Cam O’Bi)

This beat is dope af. It’s really jazzy. The production on this album is so fucking good. The first verse was nice. He’s talking about the rough environment of Chicago. The hook’s cool. There are some uncredited background vocals from Akenya. The second verse was dope. “How I’m not dead? / Going on 20 soon, they say I changed, that’s a fitting room / I’m still the same kid that didn’t speak when we were in the school / I just got a mic now, I turned to a real nigga.” Noname’s about to go in now. She did her thing. I fuck with this song. It didn’t really blow me away like the first few songs, but it’s still really good. This is dope. 4/5

Track 5: Westside Bound 3 Feat. Joseph Chilliams (Prod. Joseph Chilliams & daedaeCHAD)

I’m not crazy about the manner in which this song starts. It’s kinda… uh… Disorganized? Does that make sense? If you listen to the song you’ll know what I mean. This beat is really fuckin’ good. The hook is nothing special. It’s super simplistic, but it gets the job done. Saba’s flow on this first verse is awesome. “Used to hoop daily we thought we was Jordan / He went on to high school but dropped out a junior / I went on to college he we went on a shooter / He went on to juvie I went out on tour.” As you probably could’ve guessed, he’s just rapping about the westside of Chicago. This is really fuckin’ good. The production all over this album has been REALLY fuckin’ good so far. Saba’s flow is awesome. The first and second verses were great. Joseph Chilliams is goin’ in now. His verse was cool. I definitely liked Saba better on this track, but Joseph did his thing too. This song ends really abruptly. Like, it’s absurd how abruptly this song ends. I still really enjoyed it tho. Oh. Apparently Joseph Chilliams is Saba’s older brother. I didn’t know that. Saba’s definitely better in my opinion. Joseph isn’t bad tho. I fuck with this song. This is dope to me. 4/5

Track 6: MOST (Prod. Saba)

Good fucking lord. Y’all, the proDUCTION on this album is so good. The first verse wasn’t bad. I’m not crazy about this flow he’s using. I like the melodic delivery tho. The hook is cool, but I’m not really sure what that accent is. Oh shit. Okay, the second recital of the hook is different. It sounds REAL good. Honestly, none of the verses on this song really did anything for me. It’s not bad lyrically, but I enjoyed it more for it’s sound than it’s content. That’s not to say the content is bad tho. It just stood out more sonically to me. This is dope. 4/5

Track 7: Symmetry (Prod. Ken Ross)

Symmetry.jpg

This beat started off kinda slow, but when that shit drops… BOI. That shit is HAWT. The production on this album is so fuckin’ smooth. This fuckin’ hook is awesome too. Gotdamn. This’ll probably end up being one of my favorite songs sonically. This is pretty much just really light Soul music. He’s not really rapping. His vocals sound good tho. I’m not really crazy about this song’s content, but the shit sounds fantastic. I definitely fuck with this track. This is dope. 4/5

Track 8: Photosynthesis Feat. Jean Deaux (Prod. Phoelix & Saba)

Ooooooh fuuuck… Jean fuckin’ Deaux. I’m in love with this woman. Seriously. She sounds so fuckin’ good on this hook. This shit is smoother than FUCK. And Saba sounds so fuckin’ good when he comes in too. Gotdamn. Okay. I think this is gonna be my favorite track. It’s just givin’ me that feelin’. This is almost the same feeling I had when I heard Pride by Kendrick. The first verse was awesome. “The kids on my conscience now ’cause the youth dying, and it’s just more common now / Common ground; stuck through it all like we Carmelo / Comin’ down high off of life; arrive unannounced / Summonin’, numbin’ the pain of when I’m in doubt.” This fuckin’ bridge is awesome. Fuck, man. Fuuuuck. Lmao. Yes. I fucking love this shit. This is absolutely dope af. 5/5

Track 9: The Billy Williams Story (Prod. Flex Lennon & SqueakPIVOT)

This beat is cool. I like the melody of the hook, but the vocals seem slightly off key. It’s not too bad tho. The first verse wasn’t bad. I can tell y’all right now that this is my least favorite song so far. It’s not bad tho. I like the song. There are just some gripes I have with it. Again, the vocals on the hook are kinda shaky. Also, something about the way his voice is mixed in this song sounds off. It’s like he recorded the verses as if they were ad-libs. Does that make sense? It sounds like the ad-libs are mixed louder than the actual verses. It’s also not really that interesting to me lyrically. This melody gets pretty repetitive too. It’s a good song tho. I have a lot of nitpicks, but it’s dope. I fuck with this. 4/5

Track 10: Bucket List Feat. Matthew Santos (Prod. daedaeCHAD & Cory Grindberg)

Fuuuuck. This beat is awesome. Saba’s flow on this first verse is great. He killed that shit. Daamn. This hook is fantastic. I hate saying shit like this ’cause it’s corny to me, but it really sounds anthemic. The song is all about enjoying your life as much as you can; he pulled that celebratory vibe off really well. “I’m mountain climbing that’s never seen on this part of town / Hot air balloon on my wedding day getting off the ground / If I’m back at school, shit I’ll commute maybe try to dorm / Just wrote a book on how not to fit into social norms.” Holy fuck. Mathew Santos’ vocals on this outro are so fuckin’ smooth. Fuuuuck. It’s gonna be so hard to choose a favorite song. This shit is dope af. 5/5

Track 11: American Hypnosis Feat. Akenya (Prod. Phoelix & Saba)

This beat is dope af. Hmmm… Saba’s flow sounds kinda off on this verse… Like he either has too many bars between each beat or not enough. He’s rapping about the dangerous areas of the city in which he was raised. His flow kinda smooths out after a while. Gotdamn. This shit is dark. “We was kids, that ain’t mean we was stupid / First time I’d seen a gun, thinking if he’d shoot it / Shotgun in my mama mouth, please don’t do it / She ran home naked and came right to us / And I go to school the next day like ain’t shit happen / Excelled in great grades and they ain’t matter / Standardized tests educate data / You love the hype shit, but they ain’t Saba.” This is really dope. “I wish I didn’t have to be famous to be important.” That line is awesome. Akenya’s vocals sounded fucking fantastic. Saba’s verse was pretty long, but I think this song would be perfect if he had another one. Even tho it was like 48 bars I kinda feel like the song could’ve used a little more. It’s still a really dope song tho. I fuck with this. 4/5

Track 12: California Feat. Ravyn Lenae & Phoelix (Prod. Monte Booker, Phoelix & Saba)

This beat is dope af. Not crazy about this hook. I gotta hear it again before I can decide how I really feel about it, but my first impression is a little rough. Just a little tho. Saba killed that first verse. “They ask me ‘why the Bucket List?‘ You know the bucket list / I finally climbed the rock, made it to the top of the precipice / I came from the pessimism of inner city as it is.” I’m still not crazy about that hook with Ravyn Lenae. It’s not bad tho. I just think it could’ve been better. OOooooh FUCK. The way the beat switches up after the interlude from Lupe Fiasco is awesome. This production is immaculate. I think that’s Phoelix singing. He sounds real good. This is awesome. Okay. I was gonna give this a 4, but the way this song ended was fantastic. This is dope af to me. 5/5

Track 13: World In My Hands Feat. Smino & LEGIT (Prod. Saba, Phoelix & daedaeCHAD)

World In My Hands

This hook is alright I guess. It’s definitely one of my least favorite hooks on the whole album, but it’s tolerable. The first verse from Saba was great. His flow is really fuckin’ nice on this track. Yeah… This is definitely the wackest hook on the album. It’s fine tho. It works. The second verse was dope. Euuugh… Man… I’m really not feelin’ these vocals from LEGIT on the bridge… Lol. Damn. This might actually be my least favorite song on the album. I still like it tho. Smino’s verse was great. I wasn’t too sure about his flow at first, but once the percussion came back in everything sounded good. I fuck with this song; it’s dope. 4/5

Final Thoughts:

This album is really, really, really, REALLY fuckin’ great. Seriously, I’m shocked by how good this album is. I really wasn’t expecting to enjoy it this much, mainly because I’ve heard almost nobody else talking about it. It really just came and went. It really sucks that this album flew under the radar for so many people because it’s fucking great. This is one of the best projects to come out of 2016 to be honest. It’s a shame it took me so long to get to it. I’m glad it finally happened tho. What the fuck is goin’ on in Chicago right now? So many young, creative, talented new artists have come out of there in the last few years. I still gotta check out that Smino album. I’m really not sure why more people don’t talk about this project. The fucking production on this album y’all. It’s heavenly. Saba’s a really fuckin’ good songwriter too. Sonically this album is amazing. I really don’t see what’s not to like about this project. I love this shit. It’s dope. Can’t wait to see what he does next.

Favorite Song: Photosynthesis

Least Favorite Song: World In My Hands

Verdict:

89%

80-89

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