C-Ray Walz Year of the Beast

C-Ray Walz has developed quite the reputation in hip-hop's underground. A ferocious battle emcee, his flow has been poison to anyone who dared step to him. Luckily, this album is the antidote. Since signing with Definitive Jux, he burned his rhyme books, spent 18 months in seclusion and wrote this phenomenal follow-up to 2003's Ravipops (The Substance). Walz twists his lyrics into knots as though he were some sort of beat poet — a modern day Jack Kerouac. "R'Thentic" opens the album like a snowball barrelling down a hill. Over a bumping instrumental that could double as the soundtrack to Shaft, he gathers momentum while spitting words that escape their defined confines, re-emerging as vivid pictures that lodge themselves in your mind. How can you deny the talent of a guy who says, "I walk through the ghetto holding my dic…tionary/others are mad and pissed, I exist offa spit and they still traffic off ignorance"? Frankly, there's nothing more to say other than "buy it". (Definitive Jux)