After launching a warning salvo with is Balance EP a year ago, DC area based MC Lyriciss has finally released the full-length version. Lyriciss is an MC cut from the same cloth of 90’s hip-hop MC’s where lyrical content and flow are important. There’s even an updated version of Mary J Blige’s “My Life”.

That is not to say that Lyriciss rides strictly on nostalgia like many of the recent technically proficient but boring golden era revivalists; while Its has many nods towards classic hip-hop (tasteful samples of Junior Mafia and Audio Two for instance) its as much a work from this era as it is from the past. The hyperactive snares of “Im Good” are definitely something from the post-trap era, which he uses ironically to critique it “cause the trap ain’t for me, I can’t relate to the rats”.

He also proudly reps where he comes from, which makes it a nice change from some other MC’s who seem to have forgotten their DMV roots (*COUGH* WALE *COUGH*). It’s not heavy handed, just enough to give you a glimpse of what helped shaped him as an MC.

Smoking capons and jacks, cloves and blacks
To ease up the pain while they hold us back
With our cellphones blasting go-go and rap

What’s also makes The Balance a solid listen is the fact that Lyriciss has a solid sense playing to the strength of the songs. You have him in 80’s battle rap mode in “Superbad” but on “Stop Scheming” he slows it up with a snarky flow that calls to mind the attitude of vintage Cam’ron in ‘U Mad?’ mode. He’s not simply trying to get by on witty bars which make The Balance a good an easy listen; there’s genuine song craft here. Great album.