It’s been a crazy two years for the PIVOT Gang. Fresh off the release of Saba’s Bucket List Project, just as things seemed to take off as destined with each member working diligently, they lost part of their foundation. The passing of John Walt in 2017 was a shock for all, particularly for the close-knit collective of brothers, cousins and friends that long-ago outgrew that title. The result was Care For Me, arguably one of the best albums to emerge from the Chicago Renaissance. Since then, Sab has immersed himself in the familiarity of longtime partners, all of them consolidating sessions in basements, studios and on the road into You Can’t Sit With Us.
There’s really not much to be said beyond go listen to the damn thing. Piece by piece, the individual pieces that ultimately make up PIVOT have been carefully plying their trades, developing an array of sounds that can jump from the airy, conversational, at times whimsical rhyming of Joseph Chilliams to the breathless monologue bursts from Saba to the smoked out kick back jawns of MFN Melo, hitting switches in the direction of Frsh Wtrs in the process. It creates an amalgamation that allows the project itself to have real weight. Let’s be real. Friends get together on albums all the time, but rarely are those quality. No one’s looking for an A$AP posse cut these days. SaveMoney’s somewhat clique record on Brian Fresco’s Mafioso came off similar to this for similar reasons. If there was any argument over who’s got next, or now for that matter PIVOT Gang put it to bed by letting folks know where they can’t be, and that’s next to them.