Sagaboi completely goes against all traditional expectations of a North East hip-hop artist. Whilst many local MCs can come across as sonically trapped in the 90’s, Saga is firmly in the present. On top of a Eljai produced backdrop, the Newcastle based artist draws comparisons to Kanye West circa ‘808’s & Heartbreaks’ with auto tuned vocal effects crooning melancholic tones, albeit with a more modern polish.
TheRootMusic’s first introduction to Saga came through BBC Introducing in the North East legend Nick Roberts recommended we listen to ‘Elvin.’ He has since impressed at Evolution Emerging, Summer Punch Ball and in other live performances across Newcastle.
‘Actually No’ is a familiar tale of a love-hate relationship with a hometown. In a live setting it’s impossible not to scream along to the hook especially “Tyneside, North East!” but whilst the hook is celebratory of Sagaboi’s home, there’s also acknowledgements of feeling “caged in.” Something many in the region can relate to.
Sonically, Sagaboi and Eljai’s collaborations are far from caged in. Constantly pushing artistic boundaries, and ‘Actually No’ is simply a sample of such. Having experienced the track performed live, including once on-top a pool table, ‘Actually No’ is an absolute anthem.
‘Actually No’ will feature on the forthcoming Hash Rotten Hippo mixtape ‘North East Hip Hop Vol. 3.’