Chicago has long set a standard in hip-hop. From Common, Kanye, to Chance the Rapper, the city represents what it means to be innovative and excel in the industry. With these iconic influences filling the scene, the youth of Chicago definitely takes notice, producing some of the most promising acts of the times.
In the bustling windy city, there lies three rappers continuing to fly under the radar despite their more than capable smooth Chicago sound. Since the days of Chance the Rapper’s iconic Acid Rap, Noname has existed as one of Chicago’s most promising acts. With a jaw-dropping feature on the viral hit, “Lost,” Noname, then Noname Gypsy, burst onto the music scene as one of the most talented and lyrically-talented artists. Since then, Noname has had a successful career with tracks like “Diddy Bop” being streamed over 30 million times, a jaw-dropping album in the form of Room 25, and even some Jordan Peele love, with “Reality Check” appearing on the Us soundtrack.
Within the city, there is plenty of talent to go around, young artists Smino (originally native to St. Louis but later heavily-influenced by Chicago) and Saba continue to craft some of today’s most intriguing music. With the releases of Noir, by Smino, and Care for Me, by Saba, the city has a bright future of stars approaching. Smino’s ability to deliver melodic and snappy bars make him a clear standout in Chicago’s current hip-hop landscape, as his versatility is nothing short of consistently captivating. Saba, on the other hand, has delivered time and time again with the ability to go bar-to-bar with your favorite rapper, and probably deliver it at ten times the speed.
Now, these three Chicago MCs alone are wonderful, but together, they could possibly craft the collective to represent a generation’s sound. With the name, Ghetto Sage, the artists have brought to light their debut track “Häagen-Dazs.” However, this is not the first time we’ve seen the trio together. “Ace,” which appeared on Noname’s Room 25, showcased the three creating a fusion of sound that the world eventually needed a whole group for.
“Häagen-Dazs” begins with Smino delivering a smooth chorus, as he does best. With the refrain, “I get the bands like The Roots,” it is already a certified banger at only ten seconds into the track. Smino goes onto delivering a killer verse filled with plenty of well-deserved flexing, letting everyone be very well aware that he is “rap game’s star pupil.” I don’t see a lie.
The track is then gorgeously handed off to Saba, who does not fold. Delivering two different flows throughout the verse, Saba seamlessly switches it up and enters an entirely new level with a final four bars that would most definitely warrant a mic drop. Saba shines on this track as he highlights what he does best and delivers with a quick, precise, and playful cadence that others can only hope to imitate.
Finally, the closer, Noname, enters the track with a verse that will have fans begging for more. Soft-voiced and confident, Noname reads each line like a beautiful poem, while she addresses social issues, such as the murder of Nipsey Hussle and Black Lives Matter, in the same breath. To follow up her iconic, “My pussy taught him ninth-grade English” line, Noname once again delivers a line of striking sexual empowerment in, “The pussy turned him ashes to ashes.”
Noname continues to impress with each line she puts out, and it continues to make me wonder, why is she not the rap game’s golden child? Saba and Smino do the same, with unique voices and flows, the Chicago trio has taken full advantage of the city’s influence and is ready for the world. Maybe, if each individual artist isn’t getting the spotlight they deserve, Ghetto Sage will make sure that people remember what Chicago hip-hop really is about.
Listen to “Häagen-Dazs” below: