In the times of big budgets and special appearances, the actual art is often lost in the hype. Readyrock Records' "Balance" reminds you that there are still great things in small packages. There are a total of nine tracks on this compilation, having two of them interludes.
To label this straight Hip-Hop could be misleading nowadays, but, you are reminded of how "two turntables and a microphone…" is all you needed to represent! Dope beats and dope lyrics are what you will find in this one. AG, he blesses a verse on the first track 'The Meanin' (They Don't Know)' where he is joined by the latest mixtape dynamic duo, DJ Revolution and Kamachi. This jazzy piano looped gem should be a definite for mixtape production, but if not, that's cool cause hearing it unmolested is best.
What I am feeling from this piece is how the NYC MC dominated the lyrical side of Hip-Hop in the 80s. When P.H.A. or Power Hitting Artist (however they are from Philly) lay it down on a track, they lay it down. Yeah, cause they even suggested that graffiti artist break the markers back out. Now that is Ol' School!
This joint is loaded with good ol' fashion Hip-Hop values. Great story telling, DJ skills, appropriate samples, and back and forth rhymes between MCs. All that is missing is about three more dope tracks. The seven lyrical cuts on here hold their own though.
What I did get from this cd was subtle sense of 5% thought or influence. Which came of extremely well. Sometimes artists want to smack you in the head with a book by either Farrakahn, Dr.York, or Father whomever. But, in this case, things went on real smooth like. You can actually grasp the totality of the message in the songs. Last Emperor, Kamachi and DJ Revolution end Balance with 'Nile Nutrition' where they are accompanied by a loop from the kings of the jungle, the brothers the brothers. Yeah, you get some science from the brother. But that's just it, you get it!
Music Vibes: 9 of 10 Lyric Vibes: 8 of 10 TOTAL Vibes: 8.5 of 10
Originally posted: November 27, 1999