“I’m just a reflection of you / MLK through death is free at last / Truth is when I’m 100% honest don’t mistake it for being mad / We need each other more than you know and definitely than we show, it’s the window…open it”. …These are the opening statements from poet/emcee, Wazir Gray, who brings us his (unless there is a B.A. part one) debut project, “Balancing Act 2”. This is a relevant departure from the minstrel show, glamour and ignorant glitz that is currently afloat in Rap music today.
On “Constellation Libra”, backed by a gothic keys and a soft drum composition, a confident Wazir spits “I took a hiatus so I can get high haters / And I ain’t even have to buy papers / Getting’ a buzz and I’m not even on vibrate / I guess I got it on silent.” Throw in a melodic chorus sung well by sister April Stanford and you have a track any scholar of Hip Hop can respect.
On “What We Once More”, brother Gray gets his Common/Black Thought “The Light”/”You Got Me”-vibe on…after all, emcees need love too, lol (and, as a Hip Hop head, let me just add that the drums on this track hit harder than a couple of jabs to the stomach). On “Honest Statement”, Wazir delivers a passionate letter/coming of age tale that most emcees are afraid to present (being humbled still accounts for something). A soulful saxophone and calm drums make listeners stop for a moment to focus strictly on the lyrics (we need more songs like this, after all Hip Hop is about lyrics and messages…isn’t it?)…
“I sit up sad ‘cause no words can explain how I’m feeling.” has Wazir harnessing his inner Scarface, all the while rhyming to his heartbeat on “Hollow Drum”. Once again, if you find the right sample to use it makes a song stand out and take notice. “Balancing Act 2” does its job with the overall mission to bring honest words to life and enjoy a fresh alternative. The only downfall is some listeners just might not be ready for the maturity of its content to stay on road for the 21-song journey. Hip Hop is more than an art form, it’s a platform for real life, real expression and realness as best as the writer can do. Wazir Gray has a story to tell, if you’re willing to be attentive and listen.