Rahzel's Greatest Knockouts

Artist: RahzelTitle: Rahzel's Greatest KnockoutsRating: 4 StarsReviewed by: Dev 1

Ok Hip-Hop heads, if you have been longing for that organic, vintage brand of the art that features the innovation it once stood for, then prepare yourselves for the return of Rahzel with his Greatest Knockouts. Yes rap fans; the well known and long-time affiliate of The Roots and self-proclaimed “Godfather of Noyze” is back at it again. If you remember, his highly anticipated debut Make the Music 2000 was a rather groundbreaking freshman effort. Although, he didn’t get the mainstream appeal here in the states, Rahzel gained large notoriety overseas; even larger than what he had already established from numerous guest appearances with other artists. Nevertheless, the “Godfather of Noyze” collaborating with Erykah Badu, made enormous headway with the single “Southern Girl”.

With his strikingly unique brand of Hip-Hop, Rahzel has this time taken to the

ring. Greatest Knockouts may be a step up from his debut.

This sophomore effort possesses the dynamical aesthetic that much of the music we listen to today no longer embodies. Track one begins with Michael Buffer’s infamous intro “Let’s get ready to rumble” where he specifically introduces Rahzel to the ring. Soon after, track two rings in with “Essentials” featuring KRS-ONE, which is one to grow on for the young, so-called Hip-Hop heads. In another prime example of tru skool, Rahzel teams up with Tone Def and JS1 in a remix of Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg’s “Deep Cover”. Rahzel provides the track, with his uncanny ability to regurgitate a beat to the tee but with his voice, not sampling. This is part of what the art is all about: creativity with what you got.

And before, we go any further with the collabos, allow me to big up Rahzel for having rhymes too. He rips it in “Live in London”, “Guess (You Never Knew)”, and a couple of other freestyle interludes. The man doesn’t forget to lace us with a few comedic interventions either.

Rahzel also teams up with Supernatural (“Live tribute to JMJ), RZA

and GraveDiggas, Everlast, Rob Swift, Cee Lo, Trez, Keith Murray, Lord Tariq

(yeah, Lord Tariq) and of course, Black Thought and Dice Raw. I cannot neglect to mention “Rahstramental Breaks 1” where Rahzel skills the beat to Tribe’s “Scenario Remix” or the “Tribute to Aaliyah,” in which Rahzel skills the beat to her “One in a Million” while simultaneously skilling the loop “luv ya babe, luv ya babe, luv ya babe”. Rahzel's range of beatboxing is solidified on “Used to be Perfect” with Lyden David Hall, a soulful neo-soul type song reminiscent of D’Angelo’s works.

From the boom-bap to the drums and snares, this cat is a friggin genius and diverse with it; so if you don’t cop this album, then at least check it out; give it a listen. Respect.