Too often, rapping feels like a rote exercise in placing one rhyming word after the next. In rare instances, great technicians arise. Some even inject a bit theatricality into their raps, pushing beyond the demands and expectations of a “flow” into something grander and more engaging (think Kendrick Lamar at the end of “The Heart Pt. 2“).

Chicago crew Pivot Gang seems to adhere to the notion that special rappers don’t simply differentiate themselves with technically sound verses, they invade memories through emotion. Over an eerie, unorthodox beat, Pivot Gang seven emcees trade feverish bars, each verse building to an almost rabid climax, each emcee assaulting the minimal production with flows that jump on and off beat, voices that rise with passion and fury. It’s an impressive, raw display with few current comparisons–not to say that it’s perfect, but it’s certainly a welcome change of pace and another excellent example of the creativity teeming in the Windy City.

Download Pivot Gang’s new mixtape JIMMY here and stream it below.