There is a side to rap that people never see. It is the never ending party that is life on the road. Yak Ballz is one of those rappers. Slowly building a fan base one show at a time, but still finding time to step into a vocal booth Yak has delivered to us his sophomore album Scifentology II.
Far from its predecessor's mixtape-style track list, Scifentology II is a completely original work full of Yak at his best – delivering rhymes to the people over pulsating beats.
These beats are provided by a range of producers including fellow Weathermen Aesop Rock and Camu Tao. But the real shine should go to Mondee & Chapter 7 who hold down the majority of the album.
Mondee shows off his skill with the rock tinged tracks "War in My Head" and "A Billion Ways," incorporating a haunting piano melody in the latter that only adds effect to Peter Toh's hook.
Utilizing a nicely chopped guitar sample along with some well-played live chords Chapter 7 delivers a monster beat for Yak & Tame One to tear apart in "Nuclear Society," addressing society's ills and those who claim to be looking out for our best interest.
Yak joins up with Slow Suicide Stimulus for a retro 80's party courtesy of Govone, the producer of the very funk and very futuristic "Future Deluxe." Touring with Slow Suicide Stimulus shows here as Yak interacts with the group as if he was the fourth member - making the song that much more fun.
While the theme of the album overall is definitely on the emo tip, Yak shows us again why he is a great emcee who has been around and respected by many. He is not above making a fool of himself nor is he afraid to let his heart out on wax, telling personal stories that will connect home with numerous people from all walks of life.
These stories are always delivered with perfect timing and a flow that is vintage Queens (He's claiming Flushings ya'll). It's true he has taken parts of some of his fellow tour mates style, but he did it in his own way and given the current trends in rap taking something and making it your own is better than most of the alternatives.
Originally posted here on January 21st, 2008