Saturday, March 21, 2009

Who the F%@k Are You?

by C-Rayz Walz

C-Rayz Walz is one of the most consistent and reliable rappers recording today. It's not that he lacks innovation, it's more that he's found a formula that works well for his particular type of hip-hop, and he's stuck with it. This album is produced exclusively by producers I've never heard of (with the exception of Dub Sonata), and adheres to a classic hip-hop sound. One song, 'The Twins' is an almost exact rip-off of a song from an old RZA album.

The thing is, no one ever listens to a C-Rayz Walz album for the beats (even when he was recording on Def Jux) - it's all about the lyrics. Walz continues to come correct with his off-the-cuff style, usually best suited for his battle-rap songs, but also working on his more introspective tracks, like 'The Family Crest' and 'Deeper Feelings'.

The Sun Cycle emcee continues to showcase up-and-coming talent, and has a huge pile of MCs on here that I'm unfamiliar with. He also pulls in features from some of the artists he always works with: Karniege, Vast Aire, Access Immortal, and Poison Pen (all on the same track, the slightly disturbingly chorused 'I Love New York'). Breaking from the NY scene, there is also a guest appearance by Slug on 'In Your Soul', perhaps the only time I've heard Walz be the 2nd best rapper on a song.

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