Pivot Gang consists of Chicago rappers Saba, Joseph Chilliams, MFnMelo and Frsh Waters. The group has released only one song, called “Blood,” but now they’re releasing their debut album, “You Can’t Hang with Us”. Artists like Smino and Mick Jenkins appear on the album to complement the other four artists.
“Death Row” starts the album with a smooth and laid-back R&B beat with finger snaps acting as the basis of the beat. MFnMelo starts rapping in a monotone voice, which matches the tone of the song and its topic. Saba then uses his unique voice to sing the chorus of this song, and while it is very catchy, it’s missing some elements from the theme to make the song flow better.
“Mortal Kombat” picks up the pace of the album with an anonymous trap beat. Kari Faux gives a decent verse on this song that compliments Saba and Chilliams. While it’s good, more references to Mortal Kombat or violence in general could make this song stand out more.
“Bad Boys” is a nice track featuring Chicago native Smino, who has worked with Saba before. Chilliams starts the song with a smooth flow, talking about Pivot Gang’s success. Smino then delivers a catchy hook that matches the themes of the song. MFnMelo gives a decent verse, switching his voice to match the witty lyrics. This song, as a whole, sounds very good, with the four artists collaborating well, showing they should definitely make more music together.
“Studio Ground Rules” takes a more comedic approach, with the artists laying down some ground rules when you join their group. While this is definitely one of the more entertaining songs, it does sound like a big freestyle for with Saba, MFnMelo and Waters.
“Edward Scissorhands” is an interesting song, where the artists start to rap off beat. Chilliams and Saba flows are amazing over the vibrant trap beat. Jean Deaux’s flow is different, as she decides match the beat more, until the latter part of her verse. She then starts to switch to the offbeat flow like the others.
It is definitely one of the best songs on this album, and shows the incredible talent of all the artists
“Mathematics” features the artists talking about their daily lives while quoting mathematic terms. Saba and Chilliams deliver, like always, with lyrics like “I can take a dollar in the attic / Please excuse my dear Aunt Sally”.
However, Femdot is the standout in this track with his versatility and gritty delivery. While this song has a very good theme and they do a good job, it again sounds like a giant freestyle.
“Jason Statham, Pt. 2” is the shortest song on the album, with MFnMelo and Chilliams as the only artists to deliver verses, while Saba brings in the chorus. As the track starts, Chilliams is flowing over this dope trap beat.
While it is dope, Chilliams also has the longest verse on this track and it takes away from the song. Saba’s chorus brings in the title of the song with the lyric, “Transport, Jason Statham / This is my song verbatim”. MFnMelo has the best delivery on this track, with a gritty and comical delivery on a very short verse.
Overall, this album is a great debut for Pivot Gang, and it definitely shows the talents of all the artists and producers of the group. The only issues are the songs that sound more like freestyles. However, Pivot Gang performance outshines the negatives to make a solid debut project. 4/5