Chicago’s rap scene really seems to be at an all time high in the year of 2012. Break out artists such as Chief Keef, Lil Reese, and Sasha Go Hard have all caught major attention from top notch record labels with a slew of free Dat Piff mixtapes and DIY music videos.
The new and upcoming hip-hop crew PIVOT represent the West Side of Chi-town with a very sharp and distinct style that thankfully separates them from the large pack of Chicago kids making violence-fueled trap rap. Their first proper single “One More Time” feels like a breath of fresh air. There is literally no sing-along chorus or ear candy hook, just three and a half minutes of straight up verses & flow, each rapper slowly building on top of one another.
Stream “One More Time”, watch the video, and read through a short interview with one of the group’s key members, Saba:
So who and what exactly is PIVOT?
PIVOT is an upcoming Chicago based hip-hop collective. We’re deep as hell so I’m not even sure if I can name everyone who reps PIVOT haha. Let’s see. Joseph Chilliams, MfnMelo, John Walt, Frsh Waters, Swizzle, KevoB… Umm. Damn. me, Saba. PIVOT is really just some young guys doing some positive shit. We’re moving, that’s what we push towards. That was the simplest form of my answer. You’ll hear a lot more soon.
Are you all originally from Chicago? Do you go to school in the city?
Yeah, we we’re all born and raised on the West Side of Chicago. For the three of us that are in school, two of us go in the city. Frsh hella m.i.a. though haha. He’s out of the city in fucking neverland ranch for school and shit haha.
Can you tell me about the inspiration behind the track “One More Time” and its accompanying video? Who produced it? Who shot/directed the video?
I swear to God the track basically made itself haha. I was in the studio with Halo (Benjamin Earl Turner) right, and we we’re basically having a real ass conversation. It was about our music though. We we’re tired of putting our all into music that was being released and not getting the amount of views and plays and shit like that we felt that quality music deserves. We didn’t know what to do. He seemed discouraged, and it’s my job as the young jolly positive little bastard that I am to fix that haha. The plan was to record a song in that moment and release it that day, and just build from there. Fuck it, maybe if we keep putting more and more cold shit out, we’ll get more people to like it. so that was the goal. I actually had made the beat the night before, and it was sitting around. I kept playing that shit though, loud. The goal was to all have 8 bars and just kill that shit. Kill each other haha. The song was originally everyone except Jean Deaux. She wasn’t in the studio with us when we had first recorded it, but I knew after Melo ended his verse that was exactly who I wanted on it. The song did practically make itself. We just rapped, that was it haha. The video was directed by the Covert Empire, and that shit happened like magic as well. Halo is from Cali. He spent a lot of his summer in Chicago with us pivoting and what not haha. He was heading back to Cali though and we were talking about trying to get a video shot. We had nobody. No budget. Shit. He was leaving that Wednesday and it was like Friday or so. Covert Empire, who I didn’t even know of prior to the shoot, randomly hits our inbox like “Yo I just discovered y’all, if you ever wanna link on some visuals let me know.” And just like that we we’re so blessed for that shit to had happened. We shot that video on Tuesday, Halo was back in Cali Wednesday haha. Dope.
Jean Deaux’s verse really sticks out to me as something special. What is your artistic relationship with her?
Jean Deaux is my nigga. I love her. I try to have her on anything I can. Her voice is so special. Unique. She can sing her ass off. She can out rap grown ass niggas. She’s just musical as hell. For the record, it’s pronounced ‘John Doe’ haha. A bunch of people always mispronounce that shit haha. She’s been working with me since the summer, but we’ve recorded hella shit. She’s been working on her project with me. Just seeing how her mind works and shit is crazy. She explores a lot. I do some of her production, most of her engineering. We sit in the studio for hours and hours trying to find harmonies and shit. It turns into me on the piano and her hitting all the Solfege notes haha. Her project is going to be epic though. I support it 100%. She’s family.
What are the future plans for PIVOT?
Releasing a fuck ton of groovy music, taking other people’s wives, moving couches, and totalitarian-esque global domination.