Over the last few months Pivot Gang has been building up anticipation for their debut album You Can’t Sit With Us by releasing singles and snippets of the project. You Can’t Sit With Us came out last Friday and I was going to write it up immediately but after my first listen I realized that I wanted to take more time to sit with it. After the first listen I couldn’t turn it off and I ended up listening to it 5 times just in the first day it came out, which isn’t something I normally do. This album is everything I was hoping it would be and more. Pivot found their pocket on You Can’t Sit With Us and explored it in more and more unexpected ways. This is a posse-cut record, with each member stepping up to the plate and fully carrying their weight. Often times with a larger collective you’ll have a dominating force that drives the rest of the group. Brockhampton has an obvious leader in Kevin Abstract and he fills that role fully by holding down the hooks and directing the rest of the group, not that this is a bad thing – it usually works. I was expecting Saba to play that part in the Pivot Gang album, but I was surprised to see how instead of being a dominating presence Saba is the ultimate teammate on the album. He goes full-throttle when he gets the chance throughout You Can’t Sit With Us, but he isn’t missed when he steps back. Joseph Chilliams’ often absurdist humor and over the top sexuality draws the listener in and then MFn Melo or Frsh Waters come in with a bounce that drops back into more classic hip hop. The production on this album is amazing. They found their sound and stuck with it. I think that the fact that this album was created in such a short period of time lends to it’s cohesion. To record it Pivot Gang went to LA and made 23 tracks in 8 days, then cut it down to 13 that would make the album. You can feel that process when you hear the album, every single person is on the same page throughout the project. The range of topics on this album also shows the dynamicism of Pivot Gang, from intensely personal lines to ridiculous boasts all with an amazing self-awareness they cover as much ground as they can in just 13 songs.
The fact that I’ve gotten this far without mentioning the insane features on this album speaks volumes to the over-all power of Pivot. Most of my favorite rappers are on this album: Kari Faux, Smino, Mick Jenkins, Jean Deaux, Femdot., Sylvan Lacue and Benjamin Earl Turner all go ballistic on it and the dinnerwithjohn verse was the perfect way to tie everything together.
Stream You Can’t Sit With Us below.