This past Friday, Saba hosted his first show in Chicago at Lincoln Hall since he released his acclaimed EP Bucket List Project, which came out in late October. The sold out night featured DJ sets by Ambi Lyrics, Dam Dam, and Squeak Pivot, and featured performances from Dinner with John, Joseph Chilliams, and MFN Melo. Ambi Lyrics, most widely known for her skills on the deck, and as L.A. Van Gogh’s DJ and sidekick for their project SafeNSound, kicked the night off ‘knucking and bucking.’ Hip Hop can be such a boys club it was good to see female representation at this show, because first and foremost she is a DJ, and a true representative of Chicago’s Hip-Hop culture.

(Ambi Lyrics)

She was followed by Dinner with John, who brought his brand of chill beats and lyricism. He was a great starter because he got the crowd ready for #Pivotgang. Squeak Pivot followed up with his DJ Set, and he did a short up tempo set before MFN Melo hit the stage, who was the first member of #Pivotgang to perform. He's a big guy with a lot of energy. He performed with Jameson Brenner on guitar. We love seeing emcees perform with live instrumentation, and his crowd interaction really got the crowd behind him. MFN Melo is definitely an emcee in Chicago to look out for.


(Joseph Chillums & MFN Melo)

Joseph Chilliams, Saba Pivot’s Brother, performed after Melo. Joseph has an interesting set. His set was a mix between a stand-up comedy set and a hip hop show. He would introduce each song with a story. He had the crowd so captivated that you forgot that you were at a Hip-Hop show. His confidence was inviting. He performed a verse from the song "Forever" off  of Noname’s album Telefone. The crowd even sang the hook from the song.  Out of nowhere Supa Bwe of Hurt Everybody jumped on stage to perform as well, and of course he got lost in the crowd as he likes to be a part of the momentum. Joseph’s set was amazing in and of itself. You almost couldn't believe that Saba was still set to perform with all that built up energy. Dam Dam followed Joseph’s set with a DJ set to get the crowd pumped up for Saba and got the crowd screaming his name.


When Saba finally hit the stage and he did not disappoint. There was a feeling in the air that you were in a special place. He said it was the greatest night of his life, and reflected on coming to shows at Lincoln Hall coming up and wishing to play there one day. That dream came true for this young 22 year old, and in a big way. Selling out Lincoln Hall as an independent artist is a feat of itself. We can compare it to if you were at Chance the Rapper's Acid Rap show back in the day.



The Bucket List Project represents accomplishing your goals without fear of failure. At one point in the show me we looked at each other and said "every song is our favorite song!” He had  guest performances from Smino and LEGIT for the song "World in my Hands,” and he also took it back to Comfort Zone by performing "Time Zone" and "Butter.” Those were crowd favorites as well. He put on a performance that we and I’m sure he will never forget. To think it's only the first week of 2017 we went to one of the best shows of the year already. This show was a big deal for Chicago music. Saba is on the way to mainstream success. To close out the show he performed "Westside Bound 3" with his brother Joseph Chilliams, and the place erupted at this point. Pivot Gang was on stage going crazy. This will definitely be a night for the books.