Saafir- One of the hardest
Saafir the Saucee Nomad holds a very special place in hearts of a lot of old rap nerds my age. I first heard him on Casual’s Debut album where he arguably stole the entire show with one verse. Shortly after that, he dropped his debut album “”Boxcar sessions”. Saafir was one of a kind. NO ONE rapped like him. Not even close. On top of that, he was fairly abstract in his beat choices, often straying from the jazzy, melodic tracks his contemporaries would use and going with beats that were straight up grating and aggressive. His first album got him a nice following and some devoted fans but, after that, he never really ascended. He did have a moment when he made a few songs with Ras Kass and Xzibit as a group called “The Golden state warriors” but after years of promising a full length album, it simply never came together.
Now, when I say he never ascended, I mean in popularity. He was still making music. Good music. But while other abstract rappers like Aceyalone or his hiero affiliates were making critically acclaimed albums, he sorta just did his own thing. Choosing a decidedly more west coast and gangster sound that probably scared away a certain backpack wearing portion of his fan base.
Well, it turns out that it was deeper than that. In 1992, he was in a plane crash and hurt his back badly. This snowballed into all sorts of other problems (and , honestly, really poor life choices on his part). You can read all about that here:
I bring all that up to talk a little about the song I posted above. It’s off an EP of the same title that was apparently released in 2005. In this song, Saafir talks about many parts of his early career. One verse talks about his first time coming to NYC and linking up with rappers from this side of the country. In the last verse, he gets into the plane crash that would eventually have him sitting in a wheelchair. Now, obviously, when he made the song, I don’t think he know what his predicament would be but It’s still a really dope retelling of the events. I will say that the recording quality leaves a little to be desired but , if you’re old like me, you grew up listening to dirty 4th generation tapes anyway. This just sounds like my youth to me.