Album: HITCO
Released: November 20

When 2020 began, SAINt JHN had no plans to make While The World Was Burning. But, as he explained to Complex, the universe aligned in such a way that he ended up working with a star-studded cast of collaborators throughout the year. And when you have a collection of songs with artists like Kanye West, Lil Uzi Vert, Future, JID, A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie, DaBaby, Uzi, Kehlani, and 6LACK, you can’t not put it out. As impressive as the names on the tracklist are, though, SAINt JHN’s own voice is the true star of the show. On the extremely viral Imanbek remix of “Roses,” his vocals were pitch-shifted nearly out of recognition, but throughout the 14-song tracklist of WTWWB, we’re reminded just how strong his natural voice is. On a song like “Freedom Is Priceless,” he floats over the throbbing production in a way that’s so effortless it would make his collaborator Beyoncé proud. It’s just one of many moments in which SAINt JHN pairs his fine-tuned ear for melody with sharp songwriting. Not bad for a project he had no intention of making. —Eric Skelton