Chicago’s hip-hop collective Pivot Gang will be visiting Iowa City this Friday at 10 p.m. for a house show at 125 N Gilbert St. Hot off the release of a new mixtape, JIMMY, Friday’s show will mark the seven-member crew’s first-ever performance in Iowa City.
Crew member and lead producer Saba, in particular, has drawn attention for his featured appearance on the song “Everybody’s Something” from the recent and much-lauded Chance the Rapper mixtape, Acid Rap. The collaboration saw Saba rubbing shoulders with rising hip-hop stars such as Childish Gambino and Action Bronson.
It’s easy to draw comparisons between Pivot Gang and the heavyweight hip-hop collective Odd Future. Neither group shies away from over-the-top violence or excessively dark humor. But most importantly, both crews share a youthful, competitive edge between all of their members. At it’s best, Pivot Gang’s new mixtape, JIMMY, is a document of one-ups-manship, with seven guys pushing themselves and each other at every verse.
The video for the new mixtape’s eponymous track is a perfect encapsulation of what Pivot Gang does well. It shows them re-creating their own version of the Reservoir Dogs torture scene, complete with a police officer tied to a chair in the middle of the room, and the whole crew dressed to the nines. The visuals reinforce the eeriness of the track’s production with it’s frequently lingering and unresolved piano chords, doubling-down on the sense of unease. As each member steps forward, the verses become more complicated and more intricate and more compelling — qualities which will all be on display during their live show.
The bill will be rounded out with Ion and Romulan of AWTHNTKS, Iowa City’s very own hip-hop crew.