Squeak, the artist, DJ, and in-house producer for Saba’s hip-hop collective Pivot Gang, has died at the age of 26. A representative for the Chicago group confirmed the news to Pitchfork.
Squeak (stylized squeakPIVOT), daedae, and Daoud comprised Pivot Gang’s production team. In a 2018 interview with the Chicago Reader, Squeak talked about how spending time in the studio with the crew inspired him to start making music. “I’m listening to what they all made that day—I was like, ‘Wow, they’re actually talking about shit,’” Squeak said. “I was like, ‘All right, I just don’t wanna be around just to be around—I have to do something.’” He started out as an engineer for the group and began producing music after getting his first laptop and a copy of Fruity Loops at SXSW 2014.
In 2015, he got his first DJ gig with John Walt – a founding member of Pivot Gang, who died at 24 two years later. “He’s the reason I started DJ’ing,” Squeak told Elevator Mag. “My first beat, he rapped on it. He did that shit, that shit was great with him and Melo. That was my first production into the world. But yea, I just be Pivoting everywhere I go. That’s why my name is SqueakPivot, because Pivot is the reason I be out here.”
In June of this year, MFnMelo and Squeak released a collaborative EP called #EnRoute.