Care for Me

Care for Me

Ari Strauss, Reporter

Rapper Malik Chandler’s (better known as Saba) second studio album, Care for Me, paints a dark picture of his life after the death of his cousin and best friend. 

Throughout the album, Saba tells stories about his cousin, Walter. Walter, who was a founding member of Saba’s new recording company, Pivot, was killed on a train in Chicago six months before the album’s release. The album flirts with depression and life after death. The third song, “LIFE,” talks about death and angels. This is one of the more upbeat songs on the album; however, the lyrics tell a different story. Saba explains the problems of his life and childhood and often notes the killing of his cousin through lyrics such as “they killed my cousin with a pocket knife” and “ I seen Walter body cold.” 

“CALLIGRAPHY” further explains that his cousin is “forgotten” as he raps, “My best friend’s obituary hangs on my wall, by the dresser I’m tryna see it, a life lesson, No more time for mourning’ on my schedule.” These lyrics show how much he is affected by his cousin’s death, as he sees his cousin’s death as a “life lesson.” 

The song “SMILE” is sixth on the tracklist and paints a much more positive outlook on the death of his cousin. The song recounts his upbringing in Chicago through lyrics such as “Sweet west side Chicago, two-flat apartment Red brick and garden, that’s been forgotten” and returns to a time before the recent tragedy in his life. This memory of a different life continues throughout the rest of his album, especially on the second to last song, “PROM/KING.”  

“PROM/KING” is the best song on the album because it tells the story of Saba and Walter attending their school prom, where they first met. The story then moves to the aftermath of their prom, in which Walter and Saba end up in a fight, making them best friends. The beat switches, and the song’s second part, “KING,” starts. “KING” is the most critical part of the album regarding the storyline. It tells the story of how they blew up and started  PIVOT. Then, later in the song, the story concludes with the moment he learns of Walter’s death. She says, “Hello, Malik, have you or Squeak? Talk to my son today? He was just on the train. We got in the car, but we didn’t know where to drive, Walter, wherever you are… we will come and find you…”  These heartbreaking lyrics show the moment Saba learns about his cousin Walter’s death and shows the genuine disbelief Saba felt. 

Saba rounds out the album with the song “HEAVEN ALL AROUND ME.” Sabas tries to express the sadness that surrounds his family. Saba’s album is truly the best storytelling album to date. Saba takes us through the story of him and his cousin’s life together. The album ties you in through the ups, as they exploded onto the Chicago Rap Scene and the downs when Walter was shot at on a highway in Chicago weeks before being killed. CARE FOR ME is an album of heartbreak and sadness and a testament to Walter’s effect on Saba’s life.