When the East Bay rapper Balance unleashed his first radio single, "Gotta Get It," on KMEL a couple months ago, the prospect of a full-fledged album was tantalizing. After all, the dude's been hawking mixtapes for six years -- by now he must have a huge stockpile of rickety freestyles and club-friendly beats simmering on the back burner of his mind. Young and Restless doesn't disappoint; in fact, it's poised to be one of the funkiest local efforts of 2006. And forget the single. Actually, it's all about track six -- a low-down, fuck-me song called (ahem) "Grind." True to its theme, "Grind" is what you'd get by adding up all the strip-club joints in the world and averaging them out: Two minutes and 27 seconds of primal braggadocio, with a beat that slithers right under your skin. Admittedly, not all of Balance's songs are classics. But it's safe to say that when this guy's good, he's shockingly, appallingly good.
Seven Days - February 24, 5:52 PM
Culture Spy - February 23, 2:42 PM
What the Fork - February 23, 2:12 PM
Seven Days - February 21, 3:30 PM
Culture Spy - February 19, 1:45 PM