In July Pivot Gang rapper-producer Saba
released one of the best local mixtapes of the year, Comfort Zone
. As I've written before
, it's a touching, gorgeous full-length, and I'm hoping it also serves as a gateway for listeners to work from the rest of Pivot Gang. I've got a soft spot for John Walt, whose spacey, somber "Kemo Walk"
puts bop's lighter-than-air synths in slow motion, and lately MFn Melo's caught my ear with a series of singles he's released every Monday since October.
Melo's offering this week is "Robbin Hoods," which marries the sinister bass and thin, rapid-fire percussion of party-rap tracks with a wistful lute sample that channels the sadness in Melo's take on life on the streets. Of all of Melo's recent offerings I'm partial to his sax-sampling "Pass the El," a rich, soul-influenced smooth jam featuring Walt and Anthony Pavel. Take a listen to both tracks below—they're slated to be featured on MFn Melo's MeloDramatics mixtape, which should come out this month.
Leor Galil writes about hip-hop every Wednesday.