[22 April 2008]
New York City rapper Yashar Zadeh (a.k.a. Yak Ballz), as one of NYC’s indie-rap’s mean street manifestations, spits a dynamic flow of intelligent and socially conscience rhymes, mining experiences from his Queens-based youth but ultimately pushing the indie-rap envelope forward into a sci-fi and post-modern poetically surreal existence of one’s and two’s strengthened by co-production work with the Weathermen crew. Flexing mature and developed lyrical muscles, he’s not afraid to call out peers and be vulnerable while mournfully reflecting on his youth, an introspection that’s tethered with wisdom about future plans while still living in the present. The album is packed tight with cathartic rhymes of grit, wit and shuddering images, notably on the album’s centerpiece “War in My Head”, a 13 track ride of battling demons with an apocalyptically frantic but focused flow, a reminiscent merge of Aesop Rock and El-P but still truly his own.