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genesisshow5

The Chicago emcee drops a visual from his upcoming COMFORTzone mixtape.

It’s hard not to notice the disparity between Saba the producer and Saba the emcee. The former is inclined to lay back on woozy bass and coruscating keys; the latter can’t seem to sit still for more than four bars, ready to launch into the syllable cramming style that Chicago initially came up on in the 90s.

Both are on full display in “Secondhand Smoke,” Saba’s first music video for his upcoming sophomore mixtape COMFORTzone, shot by Caves of Chicago’s Heart of the City production team. Behind a hazy visual and wailing hook, Sab spits about life on the Chi’s West Side.

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“Saba got them secondhand smoke raps / I feel like a second citizen in my own land / My neighbor got shot in the ass / And I was probably seconds away from that,” he says on the track’s first verse. The video features brief guest spots from Mick Jenkins and Saba’s Pivot Gang, and serves as a viral introduction to COMFORTzone, which will drop this spring. Sab opens for Ty Dolla $ign in Chicago Thursday as part of a Fake Shore Drive showcase.

“It feels like July 2nd,” he raps, but “Secondhand Smoke” is cold. The Chance The Rapper collaborator and Pivot Gang general is poised for a breakout 2014 after his ’12 debut GETCOMFORTable made waves around the city. I first met Saba at a poetry open mic called Young Chicago Authors, and if this joint is any indication, the kid can write. Don’t sleep.

Peep the video below and stay tuned for more COMFORTzone songs.

– @Steven_L_G.

Photo by Bryan Lamb.