The Balance is Lyriciss’s debut full length project which combines three very well put together EP mixtapes; The Balance: Respect, The Balance: Money and The Balance: Heart. This album supports my Urban Dilemma concept by exploring the life of black youth whose lives are heavily influenced by hip-hop music and the inner city life.
I believe us living in the DC Metro area have a particularly peculiar outlook on life because we are in such close proximity to the seat of government and power in the United States. Although our area is very diverse, it is extremely segregated by class and these stories go untold outside of the DMV borders.
When I first heard “Big Gold Chain” when the initial The Balance: Money EP dropped, I remember feeling refreshed. It had an old school hip-hop vibe with a very important and new school message of “don’t believe the hype.” Many of us grew up believing a lot of what was said and done in rap music and the media; this song speaks on the negative aspect of the “ghetto celebrity” lifestyle (not glorifying it).
“In the ’80s, he would tell you where the rocks at
But he a youngin, so he supplying the pills
‘Cuz poverty is real and crime’s paying the bills”
Big Gold Chain
In my opinion, a majority of young folks want to rap because they want to be rich and famous, not because of their love and passion for the art. Couple this with a poor education, shame, irrational pride plus an inflated ego and the formula of a modern day rap star exists. Lyriciss does a superb job of calling this bluff and exposing the fraudulent lifestyle and clout associated with it. This is exemplified in tracks like “stop scheming” and “the agenda.”
“I understand just wanting to be your own man.
But get some goals and clothes and be a grown man.
Instead of scheming and hating on what you not,
go and write up a plan and triple up what you got”
A current theme in hip-hop is being independent and aware of the shady ass music industry. The industry’s commodification of the hip-hop lifestyle has led to the culture being held hostage by an elite and capitalist interest. Because of this relationship, the negativity of our culture is flourishing to our detriment and their benefit. Artists with positive and somewhat political messages are hushed up or molded into what label execs believe will sell. This theme is explored in tracks like “the balance” and “my life.”
“I been the underdog, they said that I’d never make it
Jeans ain’t tight enough, he don’t make that pop shit
Always got a message, he be on that ‘Pac shit
He don’t never beef with niggas & he don’t pop shit
So how could we ever put him in the top 10?
Suck a dick, you niggas forgot the music
Got a piece of power, you pussy niggas abused it
Got a little money and most of you misused it
So if it ain’t an Inner Loop deal, I refused it”
Be sure to check out The Balance if you want insight into the mind of a free thinking “hip-hop student, PG resident, revolutionary same color as the president”. #HVNTS.
Thanks for reading!