Akrobatik is one of Boston's most respected emcees. Those familiar with his material are more than aware of his calmly enthusiastic style causing significant intrigue. Ak doesn't shout or get overly enthusiastic while he rhymes. But, he pronounces his words clearly and says more with fewer words plus remains consistent. Many emcees feel the need to stress subject matters to a disgustingly excessive degree, but Ak's subtlty and calm dimeanor work excellently.
Initially, his style didn't have me sold. My first true experience with him was on his 'Say Yes, Say Word' 12". The hook had me curiously wondering how such a tame, simple selection of chanted phrases could work so well. It's not a question which can be easily answered, so I settled for the understanding that it just does.
'Balance' is Akrobatik's first album. He's featured upon many guest appearances, dropped several 12"s and an EP. But never a full length. DJ Revolution, Diamond D, Da Beatminerz and regular Akro affiliates Mr. Lif and Fakts One join in, helping making 'Balance' what it is. So, what is it? Simply put, it's a slick, mature release.
Many albums claim to feature "messages," but few can actually have them observed without really searching. 'Balance' definitely doesn't adhere to the latter part of that statement. Ak debates hypocrisy, the restrictions and oddities affiliated with the concept of time and of course the debate that all men deal with in regards to women ("Woman Pt. II"). We know sex is great, but sometimes is it worth actually getting to know these ladies?
Ak also tackles the understanding of life's influences and trying to "live the life" on "Limelight." A fictitious, but plausable tale about a girl who wanted to live a certain way but things don't always work out how we hope they will.
There aren't many strong faults with the album. But there was one which very much irked me. Though Diamond D has been dubbed the best producer on the mic, I can't always agree. Diamond's verse on 'Feedback' is awful. I've heard verses like this so many times and find myself cringing whenever I do. The braggadicious style is understood to be relevant to the track (which is basically about criticism of success) but it just isn't a worthwhile verse.
The album's finest track is undoubtedly 'Remind My Soul.' The strummed spanish guitar works beautifully with a simple sample woven in for the hook. The track talks about the way things were and appreciating what still exists in rare forms. Ak performs excellently and immerses himself in the beat to perfection.
'Balance' is a great demonstration of Akrobatik's maturity and understanding of life. From 'Remind My Soul' to 'Woman Pt. II' to 'Time' to 'Front Steps' - Akro demonstrates his talent, both in delivering idealogy and making fresh tracks. 'Balance' comes strongly recommended from MVRemix.