SEARCH FOR: SABA

Empathy – [Jean Deaux]

From singing smooth RnB vocals to rapping some of the coldest verses to directing cinematic music videos, it doesn’t seem like there’s anything Jean Deaux can’t do. And now the multi-faceted artist has returned with a new 7-track project. Empathy is the follow-up to Deaux’s 2018 release KRASH and features some of her most polished and cohesive work to date. The Chicago hometown favorite lets her voice drive this project, coming through with raspy, soulful vocals that soften the punch of the cutthroat raps that are scattered in between. Listeners might recognize Deaux’s name from her features with longtime collaborators like Smino and Saba, but she fully takes the spotlight for herself on Empathy. Deaux thrives off being an anomaly, singing out lullaby-like melodies one moment and delivering straight bars the next. The breadth of her talents is on full display on the song “Anytime”, one of the EP’s standout tracks; just when you’ve caught up with her flow, she calls in Kehlani to take the song to a new level. Deaux crafts memorable moments like these all throughout Empathy, keeping listeners hooked in all as she creates magic without breaking a sweat. Be sure to click play on this …

Mortal Kombat – [Pivot Gang] ft. [Kari Faux]

The rise of Chicago’s own Pivot Gang has been a long time coming, and earlier this year, the crew came into full effect with their first project as a collective in five years. Today, they’ve returned with a new visual for “Mortal Kombat”, one of the standout tracks on ‘You Can’t Sit With Us’. Pivot takes a victory lap in this new video, cruising around palm tree-lined streets in a convertible and bringing the whole squad out with them. Director Cam Robert aka Contact cloaks Pivot Gang in black-and-white tones, adding a sinister, classic vibe that coincides with the song’s straightforward lyricism. Robert doesn’t need much to keep a viewer interested, utilizing camerawork that immediately reminded me of GOOD Music’s classic “Mercy” video and other details that let Pivot shine with minimal special effects. Saba holds the track down, fitting a handful of flows into one verse and squeezing in ridiculously clever one-liners that might need a listen or two to fully sink in. Joseph Chilliams comes through with his signature hip rolls, dancing for the camera as he delivers his verse packed with his untouchable sense of humor. As the song winds down, rising star Kari Faux steals the …

Taylor Bennett Speaks on The American Reject, the Cover Art, TBE + more!

Taylor Bennett has been one of the biggest pieces in the puzzle that makes up Chicago’s music community. He has been rapping and creating music for damn near a decade and has become not only one of Chicago’s best rappers, but more importantly one of the brightest business minds that the city has to offer. The growth of his company Taylor Bennett Entertainment has been amazing to watch to say the least: he has built up a still small yet unbelievably talented roster with Bianca Shaw who has blossomed into one of the best talents that the city has to offer, as well as Zxxk who is one of the most talented producers & creatives in the game. When we look back ten years from now, these two will be far along in their careers under the guidance of Taylor & TBE. Next week Taylor is releasing his forthcoming album The American Reject, and when I saw him tease the cover I knew I had to bring him by the Lyrical Lemonade office to pick his brain about the project, the cover and so much more. As we gear up for the project that appears to be Taylor’s biggest and most …

Legacy! Legacy! – [Jamila Woods]

Chicago gem Jamila Woods has been releasing some of the best music to come out of the city for the past several years, and just a week ago she released more of it with her brand new album titled “Legacy! Legacy!”. Jamila is truly one of a kind artist and has the voice of an angel + I loved the singles, so walking into this project I had a good feeling about what I was about to hear, but she well past exceeded my already high standing expectations. Each on of the thirteen songs provided had their own unique qualities about them but they were all apart of this bigger idea and they flowed together in the track list so seamlessly, making for easily one of my favorite Chicago projects of the year thus far. Stream this brand new album via Spotify or Soundcloud below and if you like the music then be sure to visit Jamila’s website and purchase some of her merchandise or a vinyl here! features from Saba, Nico Segal, theMIND, Jasminfire and Nitty Scott

BBS – [Phoelix]

Phoelix is no stranger to our page. The multi-faceted artist has played a helping hand in some of our most revered projects; from Noname’s Telefone to Saba’s Bucket List Project. Today the Chicago-based musician returns with an animated music video for his latest single, “BBS.” The video, which was written and directed by the multi-instrumentalist, comes to life through the growing crescendo of the production. Phoelix wastes no time, plunging into the chorus of the song that reiterates its title, “BBS” a call-back to the black rims on his yellow Maserati. The animated version of Phoelix proceeds to pick up his two friends on the way to “club 92” where the trio meet a bevy of women whom they begin to exchange looks with. Locked in on one woman, in particular, Phoelix has a premonition, looking into the future of what a night with the women would entail. Needless to say, things do not go as harmoniously as he imagines. The flex-filled two-minute track is a compact punch detailing Phoelix’s steadfast attitude towards the women he meets, championing himself above all else. This is Phoelix’s second single of the new year following in the footsteps of his previously released single, …

Watch Pivot Gang’s brand new interview on Power 105.1

Chicago’s own Pivot Gang are fresh off of the release of their amazing new project You Can’t Sit With Us, and they recently sat down with Nyla Symone at Power 105.1 to talk about everything they have been up to! You will find her asking them about everything such as their brand new album, how they got to this point, the Chicago music scene, their studio rules, the relationship they have amongst each other, what they would say they each bring to the table, trying to make a Pivot tape for years, Saba’s set at Dreamville Fest, being an inspiration to many artists across the globe, learning from creating this tape and more. Get to know one of Chicago’s dopest collectives by pressing play below!

You Can’t Sit With Us – [Pivot Gang]

beloved Chicago group Pivot Gang have been teasing at the release of their album for some time now, and late last night they finally blessed their growing fanbase with the final project titled “You Can’t Sit With Us”. After streaming through the thirteen track offering a couple of times through I was happy with what I was hearing, the guys displayed unreal amounts of chemistry and created a cohesive tape, but that’s what should be expected by these brilliant & accomplished emcees. All of the songs provided feature some sort of variation of the Pivot Gang squad along with some sprinkled in features here and there from the likes of Smino, Femdot, Kari Faux, Mick Jenkins, Jean Deaux, Sylvan LaCue and last but not least, Benjamin Earl Turner. Stream this brand new project via Spotify below and if you like it be sure to support Pivot Gang by copping a ticket to catch Saba + the crew on tour here.

Bad Boys – [Pivot Gang] ft. [Smino]

Chicago collective Pivot Gang have been showcasing their respective talents individually for a few years now, but, with the announce of their new project, it’s time for them to come together on some rap Power Rangers, Megazord type shit. Along with announcing their debut album, You Can’t Sit With Us, Pivot unleashed their latest single, “Bad Boys,” which hosts Joesph Chilliams, Saba, MfnMelo, and a guest appearance from Smino, each adding their own distinct flavors to the effort while still maintaining a cohesive, unapologetic vibe to the gritty effort. With such a talented roster, one of the most fun things about this album is going to be picking a favorite verse in each song. Here, I have to give the nod to Joseph Chilliams who showcases his knack for clever, uproarious one-liners. The way he uses humor is one of Chilliams’ biggest assets and I suspect, it’ll make him a fan favorite when the album drops; but really, with the whole gang along for the ride, it’ll be a pick your poison situation. You Can’t Sit With Us is set to drop on April 19th but is vailable for pre-order on iTunes right now.  

Studio Ground Rules – [Pivot Gang]

You’ve just been invited to a Pivot Gang studio session. Not sure what to do? Don’t trip—the Chicago crew’s latest cut comes with step-by-step instructions on how to not act a fool when in their presence. “Studio Ground Rules” is the latest posse cut to come from Chicago’s own Pivot Gang, and the squad offers up more of their signature charm, humor, and straight-forward rap style that fans have come to expect by now. They initiate a listener to how they like to run things in their dojo, stressing that they have little tolerance for bullshit once they’re locked in. Saba kicks things off by reminding us of just how creative he could get with one word, turning “hood” into a dozen different metaphors as if it’s nothing to him until he then passes the ball to Frsh Waters, who’s been giving us flashes of lyrical excellence since his return to the rap game last year. Waters’ contribution here is no exception either, as he holds his own with a verse that puts any doubts about his skills to rest. MFnMelo closes up the track with his unfazed, steady flow that’s as warm as it is intimidating, and the final …

Watch Noname, Smino + Saba on The Tonight Show

Last year Noname recently one of my favorite albums of the year with Room 25, and a couple of days back she performed live on The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon along side her frequent collaborators Smino and Saba! Noname is certainly no stranger to the limelight as she has performed on television a couple times prior to this, and sure enough Noname, her band and her team did a magnificent job at giving us a memorable + special moment for Chicago. Take a few minutes of your day to check out this awesome live performances below!