There’s that famous quote about Alexander the Great weeping when he realized there were no more worlds to conquer. That’s more of a paraphrase than the actual quote, but you get the gist. What is left to do after all the scalable mountains are climbed, and all the winnable victories are fought? Saba isn’t the first person to ponder this, and so long as this blue ball spins, I promise he won’t be the last. More specifically, Saba’s latest album Few Good Things, released on Friday (February 4th), ponders that question from a uniquely Black perspective.
After a few years of playing a game of tag with the trappings of wealth, Saba, like so many of his peers, confronts the survivor’s guilt that comes with being successful and Black in America. Or, as he puts it, “the baggage that comes with the bag.” The black cloud that hovered over his 2018 album CARE FOR ME is gone. In its place is the hopeful air of introspection emanating from a young dude who realizes exterior fulfillment can only go but so far.
Few Good Things wears its heart on its sleeve, loudly broadcasting its theme for all to see. The lead single “Fearmonger” sums up the 14-track album in less than four minutes. “And scared money never made money, what I was taught/ But once you made money, you more afraid than us all.” That one bar alone epitomizes the psyche of someone who never had anything, but now has everything to lose.
In the Black community, we often talk about unity and fostering the community through building wealth. As Saba asserts throughout the album, the irony is how much easier it is to unify when you don’t have any other responsibilities. On Few Good Things, Saba often mentions his mother, father, grandparents, and extended family.