I met Squeak in Saba’s grandparent’s basement. The walls were plastered with magazine covers, the space stuffed with recording equipment and video games. A memory not easily forgotten—I’ve probably told this story a thousand times, in writing and in person. It was 2016, a year after the first time I interviewed Saba and a couple […]
Producer SqueakPivot has long been a crucial member of the Chicago hip-hop collective he’s incorporated into his stage name, applying his talents largely to mixes and DJ sets—I’m hard-pressed to think of a Pivot Gang show I’ve seen where Squeak wasn’t behind the turntables. He’s infrequently released his own music, though that began to shift […]
Tijuana Hercules drop the trash-blues masterpiece they delayed for COVID, Johnny Caluya of Verma and Surgery Boys makes his solo debut as JC Tascam, and more.
We’ve all had a lot to pay attention to this year, but there’s always room for more great music.
The members of west-side collective Pivot Gang have been calling themselves a boy band since long before Brockhampton was a twinkle in Kevin Abstract’s eye. Because Joseph Chilliams, Frsh Waters, MFn Melo, and Saba all rap, this self-description has caused some confusion, but as Pivot Gang see it, there’s not much to differentiate them from, […]
Pivot Gang cofounder John Walt is memorialized in Saba’s Care for Me—and by an arts nonprofit that bears his name, which holds its flagship concert fund-raiser this weekend.
Sage, the 64th Wonder was a promising Chicago rapper, but when he lost his creative thread he made the leap to become Lunxch—whose debut single, “Breathe,” dropped last week.
If you’d seen any Pivot Gang rappers performing in the last nine months without knowing they belonged to the local hip-hop collective, you’d have soon caught on based on two phrases they pepper throughout their time onstage: “Pivot Gang” (obviously) and “Long live John Walt.” Walt, the Pivot cofounder and rapper-singer born Walter Long Jr. […]
Yomi plays an early-afternoon set on the third and final day of this weekend’s Logan Square Arts Festival.
Dinner With John, born Walter Long Jr. and formerly known as John Walt, was stabbed to death yesterday at age 24.
The trio builds on the early promise of its April EP with their full-length debut.
There are three great local hip-hop shows on the horizon—but they’re all on the same night, so choose wisely.
If you’re looking to get hooked on solo work from one of Saba’s collaborators from Pivot Gang, try MFn Melo.
Five honors students from Chicago rap’s freshman class: Alex Wiley, Saba, Spenzo, Taylor Bennett, and ZMoney