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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 …

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

Beautiful Smile – [Saba] ft. [IDK]

Following the release of “Stay Right Here” last week, Saba keeps the new music coming with yet another single. Titled “Beautiful Smile”, the Westside wordsmith takes us to the more dismal side of his discography, offering a bleak confrontation of certain aspects of his current place in life. Saba touches on how his life has changed in recent years, the shifting of relationships with people around him and the friends and family he’s lost with a level of vulnerability he’s proven masterful at time and again. His verses unfold like a screenplay, turning stories from his past and present into raps that spawn into vivid images in a listener’s mind. IDK, who dropped his exhilarating ‘IDK & Friends :)’ project just last week, absolutely demolishes his verse as well, making for a natural compliment to Saba. It’s no doubt been a big year for Saba, with the release of ‘Care For Me’ earlier this year bolstering the Chicago native’s status as one of the game’s current strongest lyricists. On “Beautiful Smile”, he keeps things unflinchingly real, making it clear he has no intentions of switching up anytime soon. Stream the new song below and catch Saba at the 2nd annual …

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.

Emerald Street Remix – [Jamila Woods] x [Saba]

If you are familiar with Jamila Woods, then you have surely heard her record titled “Emerald Street” that was featured on her well received HEAVN project. If you’re anything like me you were probably wondering “how could this track get any better” when you first heard it, well ladies & gentlemen, Chicago native Saba is the answer. Saba took the sprawling, soulful Peter Cottontale production and flipped it into a more up-beat, jittery version, and I must admit that I was more than impressed by it. Saba did a fantastic job at taking this already great offering to the next level, as he delivered not one, but two stunning verses that are sure to leave you in awe. Stream this new remix below and if you’re in Chicago on November 25th, be sure to grab a ticket to Saba’s John Walt Day that’s being held at The House Of Blues here! mixed & mastered by Papi Beatz

There You Go – [Saba]

Pivot Gang co-founder Saba makes his return with a brand new record titled “There You Go,” and you definitely don’t want to be sleeping on it. With production help from Daoud, Saba hopped on the melodic, piano-laced beat with astounding lyricism & flow that is a staple in his music repertoire. Not only that, the new record carries a special significance as the first single since the passing of his cousin DinnerWithJohn in February, so you know this was an important release for the man who just turned 23 last month. We can only hope to see more music from him very soon, but for now, give “There You Go” a spin and don’t forget to buy your tickets for the “John Walt Day” benefit concert on November, 25th! You can buy tickets right here. 

WBON – [John Walt]

Chicago native and Pivot representative John Walt has way more hits on his hands than you would expect, and he proved it with his first track of 2016, “WBON.” We haven’t heard a solo track from Walt since he dropped “Bless Yo Soul” back in October, and it is fair to say it was well worth the wait. The producer, Ramon King, contributed some of his smooth and leveled production to this Valentine’s Day release. You can take a listen to the new record below, and if you’re feeling it give John a follow on Twitter.

Slow Me Down – [Nathan Knew] Ft. [John Walt] & [Kraze]

Just a day after the release of his track “Rari Dreams,” Nathan Knew came back even stronger with the release of “Slow Me Down.” Just one listen will instantly having you vibing with the young Chicago emcee. Nathan Knew linked with Pivot member John Walt on this one who unleashed one of his finest hooks, as well as Kraze who definitely put the finishing touches on the last verse. Nathan is no doubt spitting truth and the contributions of Walt and Kraze make this one that much better. Take a listen to the BLCK MRKT produced track below.  

Drop It (Remix) – [PMARTT] & [John Walt]

Today Pmartt blends the fun, catchy, and eclectic sound of pop with a melodic hip hop crossover in his brand new “Drop It” remix. This club anthem track mixes very well with the feature of Chicago’s own, John Walt, Pivot member who adds his very diverse sound to the mix along with a soulful verse to finish off the track strong. Keep an ear out for Pmartt as his melodic pop tempos and hip hop vibe has caught the attention of many hip hop listeners, as I predict he will continue to do big things in 2016. If you are unfamiliar, Pmartt has been the opening act for big name artist such as Jeremih, Travis Porter, and Kendrick Lamar in the last couple years. You can hear the original version of “Drop It” on his album “Nothing Sounds The Same” available on Soundcloud and iTunes, but for now here is the premiere of Pmartt’s “Drop It” remix: