From living with Tupac, surviving a plane crash, to becoming a devout Sunni Muslim, Oakland’s Saafir has been through a set of life-changing experiences that few rappers can feature on their resume. It’s even harder to set this life to music and make it sound good, but through the right mix of sincere songwriting, soulful collaborations and crisp production, the job has been accomplished on Saafir’s fourth solo album, Good Game: The Transition (ABB Records, in stores Oct. 31).
On the 17-track collection, the once-Saucee Nomad a.k.a. Mr. No No is more introspective than ever and exceeds the gems in his own catalogue: the underground classic Boxcar Sessions, the sophomore Trigonometry, and the most recent, The Hit List. Whether bringing listeners aboard the TWA Flight 841 crash landing on New York’s JFK Airport runway, on “One of the Hardest” or clarifying the meaning of an internal struggle with “Jihad,” Saafir is at top of his form. On “Devotion,” featuring crooner Mike ... Read full biography