Chicago indie-rap super crew Pivot Gang has been through some tough times, but they’ve also shown their resilience through the annual John Walt Day concert. Dedicated to one of their fallen members, who was killed in 2017, John Walt Day is not just their way of remembering their friend but also of celebrating the scene that has grown up around them. Previous iterations have highlighted Windy City rising stars like Femdot and Jean Deaux, while also giving the group a chance to showcase their individual and collective growth as well.
In the years since John Walt’s passing, Pivot Gang released a group album, You Can’t Sit With Us, while members like Saba and MFnMelo have released critically acclaimed solo projects. Care For Me, Saba’s album processing the grief of losing John, his blood cousin, is now considered an indie-rap classic and its follow-up from earlier this year, Few Good Things, has been tabbed as one of the albums of the year.
Unfortunately, Pivot Gang also suffered another loss in 2021, when producer/DJ Squeak was shot last summer, prompting an outpouring of grief from fellow Chicagoan artists like Chance The Rapper. Before he passed, though, he and Melo completed an album, En Route, along with a deluxe version featuring the single “Mood Swing.”
John Walt Day 2022 will take place on November 26 at Metro in Chicago. Further details will be announced.