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Year of the Beast

C-Rayz Walz

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Album Review

Working that balance of deep and freewheeling he has since hitting the scene, C-Rayz Walz leaves behind the cohesion of 2003's Ravipops and tackles nearly everything on Year of the Beast. A natural-born freestyler and battle rapper, the skilled and schooled Walz is up to the challenge, and while listening to the album in one go is exhausting — despite a 55-minute runtime, modest by hip-hop standards — it's a success if taken as a highlight-filled mixtape displaying what this boy can do. Showy lines like "I walk through the ghetto holding my dic-/(pregnant pause) tionary" are backed-up by deep ones while approachable, radio-friendly numbers are tempered with challenging productions that sit with the Def Jux label's most maverick moments. Punks get what's coming to them on the ghetto-snide old-schooler "Pink," while "Blackout" acknowledges the rock-rap of its time and mixes in an up-to-the-minute, D12-flavored chorus. Doesn't seem like all this should be on the same album, but it is, with no segues, and no concept holding it together. There's a lot of hunger though, and genuine talent that wants to be heard as much as it wants to brag. With so many rappers pimpin' their sneaker line or trying extra hard to fit the noble rulebook of the underground backpackers, that's a rare commodity in 2005 and one that's easier than usual for fans of the underground to connect with. Walz burned his old rhyme book before recording the album, so freedom is in effect on Year of the Beast. You'll have to chunk out your own hang-together EPs from all this divergent material, but it's definitely worth it. [The Year of the Beast CD was initially released in a limited edition with a bonus DVD featuring a documentary and videos.]

Customer Reviews

Walz finest album yet!

"Sick rymes, Lyrics kick... Totaly sweet! And tha beats are just as tight! One of the best albums Def Jux ever put out. Altogether awesome! C-rayz knows where tha real Hip-Hop be at! Keep it up Walz." -- Brotha B - L

one of the best rappers nobodys heard of

yo the rhyme intervenrion is ridikolous. buy it. its one of my favorite songs, including all em and 50's stuff. besides that, street reppin, paradise, and pink are pretty good tracks too

Get this album

If you like any of Def Jux (Aesop Rock, El-P, RJD2, Perceptionsists, etc.) then go ahead and buy this right now. This CD shows off C-Rayz clever rhymes and intimidating mic presence. The guy's voice is sick, and a lot of the production and beats on this are extremely well done. He truly is a beast, so go buy this album, if you like rap, you won't be disappointed.

Biography

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

Years Active: '00s

Socially conscious and a skilled freestyler, underground rapper C-Rayz Walz participated in open-mike nights around New York City before hooking with the Stronghold collective. Walz's earliest appearances included mixtapes, an AWOL magazine compilation, and Single Minded Pros' Session 2 EP. A demo-filled debut album, The Prelude, appeared on his own Sun Cycle Entertainment imprint in late 2001 and soon caught the attention of the folks at Definitive Jux. A guest feature on...
Full Bio
Year of the Beast, C-Rayz Walz
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