It seems almost as if everything and everyone coming out of Atlanta’s forever burgeoning Hip-hop scene has blown up from Future, to Migos, to Young Thug, and it feels like Chicago-born and rapper, and Atlanta transplant, Sahbabii is following in their footsteps. The “Pull up wit ah Stick” rapper moved to Atlanta when he was 13 years old, and immediately dove into the rap game with the help of his older brother - and collaborator - T3 and his neighborhood friends. Although the release of his mixtape S.A.N.D.A.S was met with high regard and led to a surge in his fan base, at the time of the mixtapes original release, Sahbabii was not only fired from his job at Dicks Sporting Goods, but was also contemplating giving up music after the lack of popularity and major success of his first two mixtapes Pimpin’ Aint Eazy and Glocks and Thots. However, after a released snippet of “Pull up With ah Stick” on his instagram page, it wasn’t long before Warner Brothers Music caught wind of the rising star. They eventually signed him to their label and released a remastered version of his popular mixtape on multiple streaming services. The highlight of this project, and previously mentioned hit, “Pull Up wit ah Stick ft. Loso Loaded”, is wildly popular due to Sahbabii’s use of a catchy hook and jubilant tones. It currently has over 20 million plays on Soundcloud, it’s accompanying video has 25 million views on YouTube, and the song can be heard on both FM and XM stations.
It just so happens that Sirius XM radio is where I first heard Sahbabii. When the song came on, I was immediately intrigued based off that first note alone. It’s a high pitched chime sound that catches the ear and when that beat dropped…oh man; I was hooked. After that, I had no choice but to search him on Apple Music and there he was, well, there he was in cartoon version. His 12-track project S.A.N.D.A.S is only 40 minutes long, but I swear I played it at least 40 times in a row. From the “Don Quan Intro” to the final song “Chit Chat”, Sahbabii delivers a unique “bubble-gum” trap-like sound with melodic flows and enjoyable, witty lyrics that keep you nodding your head. Likewise, the accompanying production on the project was A1.
While “Pull up wit ah Stick” gets most of the attention, another absolute hit record on the project is “Purple Ape” featuring 4orever but before I go into that, can I just commend Sahbabii for putting his homies on the tape to come up with him? It’s always dope seeing a young cat in the game who is selfless and wants to see his people eat. So, back to Purple Ape. HOT DAMN! This is by far my favorite track on the project and is one of the few songs that has an accompanying music video. To me, the best part aboutis the back half of the hook when Sahbabii says “Only fuck bitches on holidays/ She gone blow me like a birthday/ I hate these bitches like Mondays/ Suck a nigga dick ah something”. That last bar is also where the name of the mixtape comes from. It’s the full version of the acronym: S.A.N.D.A.S.
Some of the millennials and old heads out there can remember the origin of this phrase, back when Juicy J from Three Six Mafia popularized it in the song “Slob on my Knob”. As a matter of fact, some millennials and old heads out there can remember when Three Six Mafia and other groups/artists like them were the face of gangster rap. They used gritty vocal tones, dressed in baggy streetwear, and talked about violence, drugs, and sex. While Sahbabii still focuses on these topics, his swag and demeanor are a complete 180 degree turn away from what gangster rap used to be. He is among a new class of rapper that is changing the scene, for better or for worse depending on who you talk to. He wears tight clothes, choker chains, and bracelets with spikes on them like a punk rocker from the 80s. Oh, and did I mention he has a tattoo of an upside down cross on his forehead with the numbers “666” around it?
Yea…that’s a real tattoo. Though the symbols are known to hold Satanic connotations, Sahbabii refutes claims of him being a devil worshipper by saying that it is a symbol that represents his own ideology called “Unknownism”. The basic premise of it is that he and his followers want to "seek the truth" and admit to not being sure if what the powers-that-be tell us about the world is true; instead of blindly following notions that have been around for centuries. He also claims that the 666 is not the same one mentioned in the Bible, and it stand for six protons, six neutrons, and six electrons: the chemical make-up of melanin (which is the chemical in skin that causes it to be brown). Now, I’m no scientist, but if Sahbabii really wants to be an “Unknown” (what he calls his followers) wouldn’t that include not believing that melanin is made up of six protons, neutrons, and electrons? Well, either way this album goes all the way in. 10 out of 10 recommendations to bump the shit out if it.