Pivot Gang – You Can’t Sit With Us

You Can’t Sit With Us Album Cover.

RATING: 6/10

Must Listens:

Chicago based Pivot Gang have released their debut album, YOU CAN’T SIT WITH US. Pivot Gang consists of Saba, Joseph Chilliams, MFnMelo, Frsh Waters and the late dinnerwithjohn, with production work from daedaePIVOT and squeakPIVOT.

Saba was one of my favourite artists of last year after releasing his powerful sophomore album, CARE FOR ME. Unfortunately YOU CAN’T SIT WITH US doesn’t live up as a follow up project from Saba and fails to meet my expectations for collective projects. In 2019, I personally have huge expectations for collaborative projects with a Dreamville album and Beast Coast project set to be released later this year. The biggest differences between these two and Pivot Gang’s work is the variety of artists. I think the members of Pivot Gang lack their individual voice in each track, and though it works in songs like Studio Ground Rules with everyone bringing a smooth vibe that transitions between artists, it can hinder the hype of collaborative tracks.

The essential aspects of collaborative works is how sonically different artists can still demonstrate a strong chemistry. The best example I can think of would be Meechy Darko in Beast Coast. He has such a distinct voice and stands out on tracks like Coast/Clear but he still works well with his collaborators. I feel as though Pivot Gang’s strong chemistry creates some of the highlights of the album, it predominately doesn’t work in their favour and causes YOU CAN’T SIT WITH US to not bring the magic of collaborative works that I wanted. Besides that though, it’s a smooth project with clever lyricism and great production talent.

Catchy hooks are scattered throughout the album on songs like Hero and Bad Boys and each member do have their moments. A touching highlight came from the unexpected verse from the late dinnerwithjohn, Saba’s cousin who was murdered in early 2017. The must listen tracks that I listed all come from the first half of the album, as I felt the second half of the album really lacked. I scored all the songs after Bible with 6/10’s which unfortunately led to the overall score of the album. Perhaps I should give each member their own individual works a listen, like I have done obsessively with Saba, to come back and appreciate this group efforts but until then, I expect more from Pivot Gang.

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