Balens Cho

by Mach-Hommy

Released December 4, 2021

Reviewed December 9, 2021

Top tracks (based on community voting)
SELF LUH (78%), WOODEN NICKELS (67%), LABOU (50%)

After dropping one of the best albums of the year in May (Pray For Haiti), Mach-Hommy returns with a sister album as his most defining work to date. Balens Cho is a 23-minute celebration of his work and a more intimate release than anything he’s done since The G.A.T. Smoky instrumentals permeate the record, allowing for Mach-Hommy to deliver his unique style with ease, while fleshing out the atmosphere of the instrumentals. Multi-layered bars filled with philosophy, regional dialect, and cultural references are in full force, with quotables shooting off like it’s nothing. Some of the tracks on here show where he’s going next and others demonstrate why he’s simply one of the best emcees around currently. – Jared (8.5/10)


For a man that lurks in the shadows, Mach-Hommy knows how to pull eyes and ears to his direction at the drop of a dime. After churning out Pray For Haiti, which will likely sit atop both his discography and everyone’s hip-hop album-of-the-year lists, Balens Cho delivers the feeling of intimacy. Mach-Hommy’s appeal has always resided within the insular bubble he creates on his albums, and his presence in the underground. His latest album simultaneously reels in a year of success, and eulogizes who was responsible for the man that Mach-Hommy has become. Of course, every Mach album comes with razor-sharp wit––moments that make you rewind the track because you may have missed a bar or two––but “Wooden Nickels” might be the rapper’s best song. Balens Cho pulls the curtain back a bit on one of the most enigmatic forces in hip hop-today, right in the midst of his greatest run—both commercially and artistically. – Ben (Synth) (8/10)


Mach-Hommy returns in December with Balens Cho, a complimentary victory lap over his “rap album of the year” contender, Pray For Haiti, released in May of 2021. The Haitian-born, New Jersey-based emcee has long been an urban legend to the underground hip-hop circuit. He’s often talked about, always heard, rarely seen, and yet to be identified. This sort of mystique has helped sell Mach’s music, because it’s generally the only way his fans can learn more about him. Balens Cho is mostly business as usual for Mach behind the mic, navigating a decent variety of instrumentals with a dizzying stream of multilingual setups and punchlines. At times, like “SELF LUH'' or “WOODEN NICKELS,” Mach is pensive and philosophical in a way that’s revealing to the limited context of his personality—otherwise he’s simply sharpening the sword and churning out underground gold yet again. While it isn’t quite the overall statement that Pray For Haiti is, Balens Cho is still a worthy, complementary project that stokes the flames of his flagship record just in time for “best of” list season. – DeVán (7.8/10)


Jared: 8.5/10 | Pax: 8.4/10 | Alan: 8.3/10 | Ben (Synth): 8/10 | Cam: 8/10

DeVán: 7.8/10 | Dominick: 7.5/10 | Peter: 7.5/10 | Henny: 7.3/10