Album: Balance & Options
Label: Arista
Producer: DJ Quik

“Mama, I know you said that you wanted a record you could listen to/With no cussing and shit/I tried/But I still gotta do this!” We'll never know what Mama Quik thought when she got to the part about “raggedy-ass bitches,” but it's still a good bet that this is her favorite song. Its genius is that it's about a party where everything goes wrong-“Cigarette burns in my plush/Empty beers bottles in the brush/And my bitch acting like a lush”—and yet everything about it feels right.

Balance & Options might well be Quik's best-engineered album in a career of superbly-engineered albums. If you got Rod Temperton and Quincy Jones to reunite at the console on which they recorded Off the Wall, they still might not be able to make a track with a polyurethane glimmer to match “Pitch In On A Party.”