Squeak – the artist, DJ, and in-house producer for Saba-led Chicago hip-hop collective Pivot Gang – has died. The Pivot Gang representative confirmed the news to Pitchfork. He was 26.
Squeak (often stylized squeakPIVOT) was part of the Pivot Gang production team along with Daedae and Daoud. He started developing pivot gang recording sessions. After getting his first laptop and a copy of Fruity Loops at SXSW 2014, he started producing music for the crew.
In a 2017 interview, Squeak talked about how Crucial Conflict, Do or Die, Twista and other artists from Chicago’s West Side influenced his sound. “When I listened to old Twista tapes, I found that I had a west side sound and I heard the high hats in his songs,” he said. “I realized that all of his hits have a rhythm and it was like something I studied and when I somehow perfected it I realized, ‘Ok so people will know that I was from the west come. ‘”
MFnMelo and Squeak released a joint EP called #EnRoute in June. In February 2019, Squeak and Saba performed on Pitchfork Radio at the Art Institute of Chicago’s first Midwinter, showing songs by Pivot Gangs You Can’t Sit With Us.