Since Chicago’s PivotGang crew’s debut album, You Can’t Sit With Us, dropped in 2019, Saba, Joseph Chilliums, MFnMelo, and FrshWaters have dealt with tragedy once again. The crew’s producer, Squeak, died last year at the age of 26 following a Cook County shooting. This came after founding member John Walt was killed in 2017. It’s a lot for the young Chicagoan to weather, but with “Aang,” they’ve come together for the first proper PivotGang track since Squeak’s death.
The hazy beat was produced by Saba and DaedaePivot, along with Gaidaa and Maria Sanchez, and the crew do their best to turn over a new leaf. Their signature sports references are littered throughout, from Shaq to Dwyane Wade to the now-elusive Cam Newton. Frsh Waters then brings their flow full circle, encapsulating the emotions that the crew must have been feeling after Squeak’s death, rapping: “If they take me right now, burning it down in my name / Dante inferno, a level of flames, all of my aim, it been the same / I was internalizing all the pain.”
PivotGang also recently announced the fifth annual JohnWalt Day concert. Taking place on November 26th at the Metro in Chicago, all of the crew members will perform and a portion of proceeds will benefit the John Walt Foundation which provides scholarships to young artists.
Listen to “Aang” and watch the Jude Appleby-filmed visualizer above.