Saba Finds Fullness In The Empty With “Few Good Things” Short Film
On February 9th, days after releasing his 3rd full-length LP Few Good Things, Chicago rapper and producer Saba released the visual accompaniment. “Presented by Saba and Pivot Gang and produced by Partizan in association with SoundCloud and Pogi Studios, the poignant and touching film is directed and written by award-winning filmmaker C.T. Robert.” The film explores Saba’s drive for “exterior fulfillment” by using selected tracks from the album as a sonic backdrop. Mixing those tracks with “the collage of sounds one might expect to hear making their way through Saba’s hometown in the West Side of Chicago” and a phone call with Saba’s grandfather discussing his grandmother’s house helps push the film through some hard-to-see – but very real – visuals, including a street vigil, the abandoned house, and a few clips of SqueakPIVOT, who was tragically killed last summer.
On the film and the album, Saba has said “The concept of ‘Few Good Things’ is the realization of self after a search for exterior fulfillment … It is the satisfaction and completeness you gain by simply living a life that is yours. Few is a small number, but few is not lonely. In the face of all adversity, a few good things is recognizing and accepting blessings. Few is to count them, one by one – an empty glass is full of air, an empty bank is full of lessons., and an empty heart is full of memories. Few good things is to grow comfortable with the empty, and despite that, finding your fullness.”
“Film director C.T. Robert adds, “As a storyteller, I’ve always been drawn to stories that attempt to identify what makes us who we are. The ones that ask questions like: ‘What does having everything you need really look like?’ ‘Is it sitting at a dinner table with your loved ones?’ ‘Is it waking up next to the woman you love?’ ‘Is it having cherished memories for all of those you care for, those still in the physical and those who passed on?’ It’s hard to pinpoint the exact answers to all these but we know that it’s nothing that can be achieved from monetary fulfillment or anything materialistic. It’s a weight that can only be carried with you through years of experiences and memories made from putting the time in with those around you. No amount of money could ever replace that. In this film we want to refocus the conversation surrounding these ideas and help shed light on what’s really important in the grand scheme of it all.”
The short film itself is incredibly well-made, with some poignant shots, excellent cuts, and a hopeful ending. This new trend of rappers making short films to go along with their albums is off to an incredible start, with both Saba and Topaz Jones (Don’t Go Tellin’ Your Momma) pairing up with fantastic filmmakers to get their visions across in the best way possible. Topaz Jones uses the concept of the ABCs and splices in interview footage to get his points across, while Saba takes the more metaphorical approach. That metaphor is, of course, centered in reality, but Few Good Things doesn’t have those moments of documentary feel like Don’t Go Tellin’ Your Momma.
Both of these albums and short films are incredible, and you should absolutely check out both of them, but as Few Good Things is the focus of this article, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention just how incredible the album is even without the accompanying film. Saba has not missed on any of his full-length projects (Bucket List Project, CARE FOR ME, and now Few Good Things), and seeing this collaboration with Partizan and C.T. Robert makes the album hit that much harder. Everything that Saba does musically is amplified by the outstanding visuals, and there are only good things to say about it.
Watch Few Good Things (A Short Film) below, and let us know what you think! Saba is one of the greatest rappers out there right now, and I hope to see more stunning visuals like this from him in the future.