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Where It’s At – [Saba]

As the credits roll on 2018, Saba caps off the year with his 6th straight week of new music. “Where It’s At” is the latest in a series of new singles this month from the Westside Chicago rapper, and it features in-house production from PIVOT Gang’s DaeDaePivot and Saba himself — a formula for success, if you’ve been paying attention to recent releases. As he raps about finding peace of mind, it’s clear he’s come a long way following the release of his acclaimed album, Care For Me. In contrast to the darker, emotional tone of the project, “Where It’s At” and the rest of the singles Saba dropped this month have kept things more upbeat—indicative of the massively successful year he’s had so far. Care For Me has been popping up all over year-end lists, even coming in at #1 on DJBooth’s 50 Best Hip-Hop and R&B albums of 2018. Needless to say, the accolades are well deserved: the hometown hero triumphed through tragedy this year all while delivering more of the poetic storytelling and raw lyricism fans have come to love throughout his career. Take a victory lap with Saba on “Where It’s At” below:

Excited – [Saba]

Saba keeps the weekly drop streak going this Friday with yet another new song titled “Excited”. On the heels of last week’s Pivot Gang crew-cut “Blood” and the 2nd annual John Walt Day show, the West-side Chicago native’s work ethic seems to really be kicking into gear right now to end the year with a bang. On “Excited, Saba puts his flows on cruise control, navigating the beat with slick cadences that seem to come automatically for him. Always one to incorporate whatever’s going on in his life directly into his lyrics, he raps about the lifestyle of being on tour and being in a relationship and ties everything together into a warm, melodic hook. Frequent collaborators Daoud and DaeDaePIVOT handle the production alongside Saba himself, adding warm textures to his bars through soft horn sections and a steady bounce. Listen to “Excited” below, and be on the lookout for a possible new release next week from Saba as well:

Blood – [Pivot Gang]

Pivot Gang’s story up to this point has already been a long one, yet the Chicago collective spearheaded by Saba is only starting to garner the attention they deserve. Their new crew cut, “Blood”, serves as a reminder of the range of talent in Pivot’s ranks and a family reunion just in time for Thanksgiving. ‘Chicago’s Most Charming Rapper’ Joseph Chilliams kicks off the track with his signature sense of humor, followed by MfnMelo’s laidback flow that switches up the pace of the song at just the right time. Frsh Waters, who’s emerged this year with a few promising tracks of his own, closes the song out and finishes his last verse with finesse. Saba holds things down on the hook, tying the gang together by proclaiming his loyalty to his family. It’s been a minute since Pivot dropped a group track, and hopefully “Blood” is a sign of more to come. Listen to “Blood” below, and if you’re in Chicago this weekend, see Pivot Gang in action at the 2nd annual John Walt Day this Saturday. produced by @daedaePIVOT & @squeakPIVOT

Watch Saba on NPR Tiny Desk

Unless you have been living under a rock you clearly known who Saba is at this point, the Chicago native released arguably my favorite album of the year “Care For Me” a couple months back & he recently stopped by NPR Tiny Desk to performance some cuts from the album. He didn’t go solo though, he was assisted by plenty of great minds who helped him create the previously mentioned album such as producers & keys Daoud & daedaePIVOT, Noah Frank on the trumpet, bass player Cheflee, drummer Brandon Farmer and his father, theMIND & Kaina on the vocals. Saba also recently released his brand new vinyl for “Care For Me” so if you loved the album like we did here at LL be sure to purchase it here, and if you are in the city be sure to support the second annual John Walt Day on November 24th, you can find tickets for that here.

Off Instinct – [Frsh Waters]

PIVOT Gang member Frsh Waters made a splash late last year with his explosive single “Piss Po’”. Assisted by Chicago’s Jean Deaux and over a beat produced by Saba, the song marked Frsh’s first piece of new music since serving a 4-and-a-half year prison sentence. He wasted no time, stealing listeners’ attention with his sharp, dyanmic flows, and he brings the same level of precision on the mic for his new track “Off Instinct”. Much like the rest of the PIVOT roster, Frsh packs a whole lot into his bars, letting different parts of his story unravel through his rhymes. He incorporates his upbringing on Chicago’s Westside, growing up with “coupe ambitions” and the idea of hustling to make something out of nothing. Ultimately, the track serves as a testament to Frsh’s loyalty and the idea of stepping up for your team when the time comes. PIVOT’s in-house producer daedaePIVOT offers up effervescent, lo-fi vibes that feel natural under Frsh’s steady delivery. “Off Instinct” also marks the first of what Frsh is calling “Frsh Friday’s”, so hopefully we can expect more where this came from next week.

Off Instinct – [Frsh Waters]

PIVOT Gang member Frsh Waters made a splash late last year with his explosive single “Piss Po’”. Assisted by Chicago’s Jean Deaux and over a beat produced by Saba, the song marked Frsh’s first piece of new music since serving a 4-and-a-half year prison sentence. He wasted no time, stealing listeners’ attention with his sharp, dyanmic flows, and he brings the same level of precision on the mic for his new track “Off Instinct”. Much like the rest of the PIVOT roster, Frsh packs a whole lot into his bars, letting different parts of his story unravel through his rhymes. He incorporates his upbringing on Chicago’s Westside, growing up with “coupe ambitions” and the idea of hustling to make something out of nothing. Ultimately, the track serves as a testament to Frsh’s loyalty and the idea of stepping up for your team when the time comes. PIVOT’s in-house producer daedaePIVOT offers up effervescent, lo-fi vibes that feel natural under Frsh’s steady delivery. “Off Instinct” also marks the first of what Frsh is calling “Frsh Friday’s”, so hopefully we can expect more where this came from next week.

LIFE – [Saba]

Saba dropped a classic project with Bucket List not too long ago, and his fans have been impatiently waiting to see what the Chicago emcee has up his sleeve next, and we may be a step closer as he just dropped a record titled “Life”. The Pivot leader connected with producers daedaePIVOT & Daoud who helped him put together this instrumental, and together the three of them created a truly impressive track from top to bottom. This record is a very high energy & hard knocking offering, but when you dive into the lyrics a bit more you can see how harsh it really is, which is rare to accomplish both of those things on the same track. Saba is in his bag and it’s clear, but don’t take my word for it, click play below!  

LIFE – [Saba]

After teasing the track on social media just last week, Saba has dropped the second single off his forthcoming project “Care For Me,” titled “LIFE.” The heavily emotional, high-octane new song features the PIVOT Gang member contemplating harsh realities, specifically the threat of life being taken away without warning. He brings the subject close to home as he raps about the tragic stabbing of his cousin John Walt, aka DinnerWithJohn, just last year. “LIFE” follows Saba’s other recent single “Busy” and continues an overall shift in Saba’s music that contrasts with the more colorful sounds he was working with on 2016’s “Bucket List Project.” Even by just looking at the cover art, Saba appears to be experimenting with darker and more bleak styling for his new work. Regardless, the Westside native sounds right at home over this explosive beat produced by himself, daedaePIVOT and Daoud. he absolutely kills each verse and switches flows like it’s nothing. For a rapper who’s known for his vivid storytelling abilities, Saba continues to transform whatever narratives he’s experiencing into vulnerable bars that strike at the core of whatever he’s feeling. Just as the energy of “LIFE” reaches its peak, the track dissipates into a …

Busy – [Saba]

Chicago native Saba just blessed his rapidly growing fan base with a brand new record titled “Busy” and it’s nothing you want to miss out on. I have been a huge fan of SaBa since he dropped Comfort Zone back in 2012, and although he has never been shy to put his emotions in his music, this was a very vulnerable track that I did not see coming from him. He really took this instrumental as an opportunity to air our some of the hardships he has been going through, and I believe that will resonate well with his listeners. 2018 is looking to be a huge step in Saba’s career and this new joint is certainly starting off on a good note, stream this brand new tune below! Produced by Saba, Daoud, and daedaePIVOT Mixed by Matt Wheeler

Top 50 Chicago Projects of 2017

If you recall we released our “Top 50 Chicago Projects of 2016” list on the 31st last year, so it we had to bring it back this year due to the insane amount of talent that is coming out of Chicago. Each & every one of the artists included created something special this year for the world, but especially for the city, so it’s only right that we acknowledge their efforts. Please remember that this is in our opinion, & our opinions really don’t mean shit. Thank you to our terrific writing staff for all of the hard work they have put in this year, I will be linking their socials below so be sure to contact them about getting featured on the website in the future. Jacob Lusted • Lane Cowherd • Seamus Fay • Mike Del Ro • Jake Millan  • Miguel Alfaro This year has been a year of massive growth for Lyrical Lemonade as a whole: from getting our own HQ, to selling out shows in other cities, being featured in the Chicago Reader, working with some of our idols, growing our overall presence and much more. All of us here at LL would like to thank our supporters, whether …