As cliche as it is to point out, Chicago’s had a well-documented gun violence problem for quite some time. It’s been addressed in countless rap songs and videos, but none as poignantly as in Saba’s video for “Sirens” from his well-received, cathartic album, Care For Me.
Featuring a soulful intro from guest singer TheMIND, the video opens with little girls coloring with chalk on the sidewalk. As the camera pulls back, it’s revealed that they’ve been drawing a chalk outline of a body like the ones police do at murder scenes, a chilling image that throws the lost innocence of Chicago’s youth into stark relief.
The rest of the video focuses on Saba and his interactions with friends and family. As sirens and police lights overwhelm each scene, his loved ones disappear, leaving him alone and despondent-looking, a visual metaphor for the holes in his life that have been left by the violence of his hometown. Lyrically, the song addresses the consequences — not only are Saba’s friends vanishing, but now the police justify targeting him for being young and Black, as well.
While he continues to promote Care For Me with videos like “Sirens,” Saba has also clearly been looking ahead to his next project, releasing more optimistic sounding singles like “Excited,” “Papaya,” and “Where It’s At,” as well as hinting at a collaborative album between himself, Smino, and Noname to release sometime in 2019.