Balance & Options

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Balance & Options
Studio album by DJ Quik
Released May 16, 2000 (2000-05-16) (US)
Recorded 1999-2000
The Hospital Studio
(Los Angeles, California)
Skip Sailor Recordings
(Los Angeles, California)
Genre Hip hop, R&B
Length 70:41
Label Arista
Producer DJ Quik (also exec.), Courtney Branch, Warryn Campbell, G-One
DJ Quik chronology
Balance & Options
Under tha Influence
Singles from Balance & Options
  1. "Pitch in on a Party"
    Released: October 28, 1999
  2. "Quikker Said than Dunn"
    Released: December 9, 1999

Balance & Options is the fifth album by West Coast rapper and producer, DJ Quik. It was released on May 16, 2000 on Arista Records (who inherited DJ Quik's contract when they bought Profile Records). The album debuted at number 18 on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart, with 68,000 copies in its first-week of sales.[1] It was his first album not certified by the RIAA. It features the single "Pitch in on a Party" whose video was directed by photographer Patrick Hoelck.

Despite the fans claiming Balance & Options was his best work, DJ Quik felt he wasn't giving his all on this album. He was losing interest in recording due to the changing trends in the music industry at the time.[2]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic2.5/5 stars link
Robert Christgau(3-star Honorable Mention) link
DubCNN.com4.5/5 stars link
RapReviews.com9/10 stars link
Rolling Stone3.5/5 stars link
The Source3/5 stars link
USA Today2.5/4 stars link
Vibe(Favorable) link

Balance & Options received rave reviews from contemporary music critics. Incognito from DubCNN gave the album 4.5/5 stars and wrote "On his latest effort "Balance & Options", Quik is wiser and is able to admit that he aint no gangsta. There is nothin wrong with that, Quik can still rock the parties and get respect from peeps on the streets. I really like this record, songs like "Change The Game", "Pitch in on a Party" and "Well" really mean a lot. The Beats really make the record, though I still love it, I think it deserves a 4/5 because of incredible production and deep meaning. With this album, Quik has again shown us how he has established himself as a key factor in the West coast".[3] Rolling Stone gave the album 3.5/5 stars and wrote "...Could be the most unexpectedly progressive hip-hop album of the year."[4] The Source gave the album 3/5 mics and wrote "...The gems of BALANCE are scattered like buried treasure, weighing heavily toward the LP's end. When you hear the stronger cuts, you realize BALANCE's potential..."[5]

Nathan Rabin from The A.V. Club wrote that "Balance & Options, like his stellar Rhythm-al-ism, finds the rapper-producer moving away from gangsta-oriented lyrics in favor of a more self-consciously "positive" worldview. Balance & Options finds the occasional socially conscious lyric mingling freely with rampant misogyny and homophobia—sometimes within the same song—that's too pervasive and persistent to be incidental. The album gets off to a good start and scatters strong moments throughout. "Sexuality" isn't exactly progressive, but its dense P-Funk groove is undeniable, while "Do Whatchu Want" showcases Quik and Digital Underground at their irreverent best. The instrumental "Quik's Groove" is sure-footed enough to buck the self-indulgence that plagues most instrumentals by rappers, while the melancholy "Tha Divorce Song," co-written and sung by James DeBarge, hints at intellectual and emotional growth. Balance & Options is a mixed bag, but Quik is such a talented producer that even when he's not at his best, he's still superior to the vast majority of his peers.[6]


In 2012, Kendrick Lamar ranked the album at number 23 on his "Complex Top 25 Favorite Albums" list and wrote that "My homeboy Earl would play that album all day. One of the first songs on there ‘I Don’t Wanna Party Wit U’ is one I could remember that really jumps out to me and really gave me that feel. It was summertime, we was running around and that was always playing.”[7]

Commercial performance[edit]

The album debuted at number 18 on the US Billboard 200 and number 5 on the US Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums, selling 68,000 copies in its first week.[1] It spent 18 weeks on the Billboard 200.[8] As of March 21, 2002 the album has sold over 324,000 copies in the United States.[9] It was his first album not certified by the RIAA.

Track listing[edit]

1."Change Da Game" (featuring Mausberg)David Blake, Johnny BurnsDJ Quik4:04
2."Did Y'all Feel Dat" (featuring Mausberg & Skaboobie)Blake, BurnsDJ Quik3:27
3."We Came 2 Play" (featuring AMG & James DeBarge)Blake, James DeBarge, Jason LewisDJ Quik3:49
4."Pitch in on a Party"BlakeDJ Quik4:06
5."I Don't Wanna Party Wit U"BlakeDJ Quik5:06
6."Motex Records I (Interlude)"BlakeDJ Quik1:43
7."Sexuality"BlakeDJ Quik4:03
8."How Come?"BlakeDJ Quik3:53
9."U Ain't Fresh" (featuring Erick Sermon & Kam)Blake, Joe Malloy, Craig Miller, Erick Sermon, Rudy Sheriff, William StromanDJ Quik3:54
10."Roger's Groove"BlakeDJ Quik2:48
11."Motex Records II (Interlude)"BlakeDJ Quik0:36
12."Quikker Said Than Dunn"Andre Young, Blake, Antoine Carraby, Eddie Floyd, O'Shea Jackson, Rahiem Thomas, Eric WrightDJ Quik3:44
13."Straight From the Streets (Interlude)"BlakeDJ Quik1:30
14."Speak on It" (featuring AMG & Mausberg)Blake, Burns, LewisDJ Quik2:32
15."Do Whatcha Want" (featuring Digital Underground & AMG)Blake, Ron Brooks, Ronnie Caldwell, Ben Cauley, Gregory Jacobs, LewisDJ Quik5:08
16."Well" (featuring Mausberg & Raphael Saadiq)Blake, Courtney Branch, Burns, Warryn Campbell, Charles WigginsDJ Quik, Warryn Campbell (co.), Courtney Branch (co.)5:42
17."Quik's Groove V"BlakeDJ Quik4:58
18."Do I Love Her?" (featuring Suga Free)Blake, Dejuan WalkerDJ Quik4:00
19."Tha Divorce Song" (featuring James DeBarge)George Archie, Blake, DeBargeDJ Quik, G-One (co.)3:33
20."Balance & Options (Outro)"BlakeDJ Quik1:08
Total length:70:41


  •  • (co.) Co-producer

Sample credits

  • "Pitch In Ona Party" contains sample of "We Still Party" - earlier Quik's track, from his previous album "Rhythm-al-ism".
  • "You Ain't Fresh" contains portions of "You Ain't Fresh" by Boogie Boys.
  • "Quikker Said Than Dunn" contains samples of "Eazy-er Said Than Dunn" by Eazy-E.
  • "Do Whatcha Want" contains samples of "Let's Have Some Fun" by The Bar-Kays.


Credits for Balance & Options adapted from AllMusic.[10]

  • AMG – performer, primary artist
  • Courtney Branch – performer, primary artist
  • El DeBarge – guest artist, vocals
  • James DeBarge – performer, primary artist
  • Digital Underground – performer, primary artist
  • DJ Quik – bass, featured artist, guest artist, performer, primary artist
  • Brian Gardner – mastering
  • Will Hudspeth – featured artist
  • Kam – featured artist
  • Jonathan Mannion – photography
  • Marco Polo – background vocals
  • Mausberg – performer, primary artist
  • Raphael Saadiq – featured artist, primary artist
  • Erick Sermon – performer, primary artist
  • Skaboobie – featured artist
  • Suga Free – performer, primary artist
  • Charles Veal – concert master
  • Courtney Walter – design
  • Warryn Campbell – producer
  • Benjamin Wright – orchestral arrangements


Chart (2000) Peak
US Billboard 200[8] 18
US Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums[11] 5