Chicago is home to a wide array of hip-hop collectives that hail from all sides of the city. Recently, we featured Alex Wiley on the site and put a spotlight on his unique collective, The Village which consists of Chicago artists Kembe X and Jean Deaux, and how they have been able to surmount the drill sound that has encompassed the city of Chicago with their own distinct brand of hip-hop. Today I move the spotlight from the North Side of the city where The Village hails from to the West Side where the up-and-coming Chicago group Pivot Gang calls home. The West Side, an area which has become notorious for its severity of violence and wild drill music thats sound dominate the region's landscape. Many believe that the West Side is totally encompassed by darkness and drill music, Pivot Gang is the outlier in this dark music landscape.
On their most recent release, Pivot Gang has linked up with PVTSTCK in-house producer IKON for the single "Tap Water" off IKON's upcoming debut project. For "Tap Water," The PVTSTCK producer constructs a laid-back, downtempo soundscape for the Pivot Gang artists to flow over. John Walt leads off on the hook of the track with wispy vocals as he sings, "Are you dead or alive, dead or alive/You can testify-ay-ay and you can touch the sky-ay-ay". The hook gives the listener insight into the values of Pivot Gang, which could best be summed up as uplifting oneself and striving for greatness, which are uncommon values for a region where there really is no hope. As Walt's croons drift off, Joseph Chilliams, Saba's brother, juts in with some lofty rhymes poetic rhymes that include a reference to incarcerated Pivot Gang member Jimmy aka Frsh Waters, whose name lends itself to the title Pivot Gang's debut collective tape, Jimmy. Saba and MFN Melo come in to close out the track with some dexterous bars that expand on the corruption within our society today in turn showcasing their adept lyrical ability, which is a quality that is uncommon for the music of the West Side.
Stream "Tap Water" below and keep and eye out for more Pivot Gang music or PVTSTCK, which is the studio where Pivot Gang records at, and be sure to keep it locked to EARMILK for all things Pivot Gang.
"Tap Water" (Feat. Pivot Gang)