Balance

SXSW showcase reviews

Live Shots
Photo By Gary Miller

Balance

Back Room, Wednesday, March 15

Drawing parallels between Bay area and Texas rap, Oakland's Balance teamed with Austin's DJ Rapid Ric for a compact set of hyphy allusions. Beginning with a freestyle over the beat to E-40's "Tell Me When to Go," Balance highlighted the nuances of sideshow culture within which the still-popular Ecstasy pill is known as thizz and marijuana as turtle. Brandishing an instrumental produced by E-A-Ski, Balance delivered "Gotta Get It" with an enthusiasm that typically finds listeners sporting spasmodic reactions. While Chamillionaire failed to join Balance for their collaboration "Roll Wit Me," Balance's solo performance made the connections between the Yay and Screwston readily apparent. As the longtime Rasputin's rap buyer put it, "labels weren't trying to mess with us, so we both had to go independent to bring our styles to the stores on our own." Known as the Bay Area Mixtape King, Balance utilizes any and every avenue available to him to shine a spotlight on the distinct rhythmic signatures of his home turf. As a champion of the "new Bay, new way, new song to play," he embodies the grinding ingenuity of rappers more prone to street sales than industry acceptance. Anticipating the release of his debut LP, Young & the Restless, Balance makes it his duty to "Let the Bass Go."

Keep up with all our SXSW coverage at austinchronicle.com/sxsw. Sign up for our South By-specific newsletter at austinchronicle.com/newsletters for news, reviews, and previews delivered to your inbox every day of the Fest. And for the latest tweets, follow @ChronSXSW.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
Wednesday Interview
Wednesday Interview
Delta Spirit

Jim Caligiuri, March 20, 2015

Wednesday Picks & Sleepers
Wednesday Picks & Sleepers
First night SXSW Music recommendations and hints

March 20, 2015

More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
Grupo Fantasma
American Music Vol. VII (Record Review)

Raoul Hernandez, April 19, 2019

Texas Platters
T$O – Trill Shit Only
T$O – Trill Shit Only (Record Review)

Kahron Spearman, April 12, 2019

More by Robert Gabriel
KJ Hines
KJ Hines
Prince of the City

April 27, 2007

Play the Role
Play the Role
Bavu Blakes is not afraid

April 27, 2007

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle