In the intricate tapestry of hip-hop history, Balens Klērede emerges as a luminary, a poet of profound resonance whose journey through the corridors of time has crafted him into an emcee of unparalleled wisdom and eloquence. Formerly known as the renowned MC Slayer in the gritty streets of Los Angeles, Balens Klērede’s metamorphosis has transcended mere nomenclature; it’s a testament to the profound evolution of an artist whose roots in the 80s and 90s battle rap scene laid the foundation for a legacy that now stands as a towering testimony to the enduring power of lyrical prowess.
Under the mentorship of Kurupt from the Dogg Pound fame, Balens Klērede’s prowess as a battle rapper earned him street fame and financial nods. However, his artistic journey took a transformative turn in the early 2000s when he crossed paths with Black Tone, the visionary CEO of Laneway Records. This encounter led to unreleased recording sessions with Sugafree and a nationwide tour alongside Afroman, where he opened for the Grammy-nominated rapper and DJ MR Mixx from the iconic 2 Live Crew.
Balens Klērede, a multifaceted artist, extends his creative tendrils beyond the mic, manifesting as a poet and spoken word virtuoso. His self-published book, ‘Listen With Your Eyes: The Poet Tree of Strainj,’ stands as a demonstration of his poetic prowess, drawing inspiration from the rich tapestry of Def Jam Poetry. His spoken word performances at distinguished events like the Juneteenth Heritage Festival and LA Black Book Expo, coupled with appearances at local venues, showcase the breadth of his artistic dexterity.
Four underground mixtapes between 2015 and 2019 laid the groundwork for Balens Klērede’s artistic ethos. Today, under the project “The Science of Klerede,” crafted in collaboration with the visionary producer Ol’ Man Science, he elevates his expression to new heights. Introduced by the mutual frendship of Eternal Mind, this collaboration encapsulates the insightful perspectives of Balens Klērede, contributing seamlessly to the modern hip-hop narrative.
Venturing into the sonic realm of “Deity Disturbance” and “Iniquitous Initiations,” two tracks taken from the aforementioned project, Balens Klērede unveils verbal acrobatics that mesmerize the listener. His flow, now matured and surefooted, eschews youthful flashiness in favor of a nuanced emphasis on emotion and delivery. Drawing inspiration from legends such as Public Enemy, X Clan, and KRS ONE, Balens Klērede transcends conscious rap, evolving into the realm of virtuous rap. His wordplay, a labyrinth of intricate thought and elegant phrasing, demands not just attention but empathy, revealing layers that unravel with each subsequent listen.
The sonic backdrop of these tracks, masterfully crafted by the visionary producer Black Science aka Ol’ Man Science, whose influences echo the likes of RZA, Alchemist, and Vanderslice. The beats pulsate with an exuberance that pushes Balens Klērede to unfurl absolute and complex sonic gems, a testament to the symbiotic relationship between artist and producer.
The track “Deity Disturbance” emerges as an intense and socially conscious opus. Fueled by the inspiration of comic book superheroes and villains, Balens Klērede’s verses, complemented by the electrifying turntablism and scratching from DJ Soul, mirror the contemporary battles of our society. Themes of racism, classism, and political corruption find poignant expression, underscoring the track’s relevance and resonance.
“Iniquitous Initiations”, on the other hand, delves into the shadowy underbelly of Hollywood, serving as a compelling exposé. Balens Klērede’s lyrics and delivery pierce through the glitz and glamour, prompting reflection on the hidden sacrifices demanded by the industry in exchange for fame. It’s a powerful testament to his ability to navigate the complexities of societal critique within the confines of a rhythmically charged narrative.
In the sonic tapestry woven by Balens Klērede and Black Science, we find a synthesis of intellect and rhythm, a harmonious convergence of lyricism and production. The tracks “Deity Disturbance” and “Iniquitous Initiations” stand not just as musical compositions but as chapters in the evolving narrative of an artist who, like a seasoned alchemist, transmutes the raw elements of life into sonic gold. Balens Klērede has not only found balance and clarity in his artistic expression, but has elevated it to a form that resonates as a profound and virtuosic contribution to the kaleidoscopic world of modern hip-hop.