C-Rayz Walz - conducted by Alex Goldberg  


C-Rayz Walz

August 2005

On July 15th, 2005, I was scheduled to meet C-Rayz Walz, the Sun Cycle MC, at the Cosi across the street from the Barnes and Noble at 26th and 6th street in New York. (Whoever has read the MC Paul Barman interview, which I had conducted at Cosi in New York, it would seem that I have a particular love for Cosi, but this is not true; I just don’t know New York that well.} As I'm walking to the Cosi at 26th and 6th, it becomes apparent to me that there is no Cosi at 26th and 6th street. Now this, on any other day, would have seemed like a bad thing to realize ten minutes before the interview was supposed to begin, but there was a force beyond my understanding that allowed me to be in the right spot at the right time. I saw C-Rayz walking past me. "C-Rayz Walz?" I am hoping to God that the guy I stop on the street, who resembles the C-Rayz from pictures, is the actual person. This seems to be a recurring theme for me when it comes to interviews. Not quite sure what the person I'm looking for looks like and hoping for the best. So far it's worked though. It turns out that the man I stop is actually the Sun Cycle MC. He tells me that there is no Cosi at 26th and 6th street, that the Cosi we were currently standing outside of is the only one in the 4 block radius. He asks me if I would rather go to the Def Jux, and we decide that's the best idea for a sit down interview. As we head over to Def Jux, his energy is high, he seems overly enthusiastic about just about everything around him, which I come to observe will be his affect for the rest of the day.

When we arrive at Def Jux the room is clad with secretarial desks, two turntables, and a mixer. C-Rayz immediately walks towards the turntables, puts on a record and begins to freestyle. He will freestyle from now to the interview which takes place at least 3 hours later. The next hour or so is spent with me talking to the interns, with C-Rayz seemingly oblivious to my presence, freestlying, joking around {sometimes to himself}, and me, waiting with an eager curiosity of what the Sun Cycle has in store for the interview. Eventually, he winds down, we roll a blunt, smoke, and the tone of the interview is set to the tune of a pre-dusk stillness. During the interview, a subtle mystical aura envelopes the conversation largely due to C-Rayz’s meditative calmness. It seems like he’s lived a thousand lives while most people only live one. Throughout the interview it becomes clear to me that he has enclosed himself in his own world, consumed by whatever spirit of thoughts he is possessed by. This possession allows me to stand outside of the interview, to participate as a spectator, as an observer. At some points I am caught up in what he was saying, to the point where my questions were geared to "will you let me into your world?"

However, C-Rayz conducts himself through his power of word command. The enthusiasm of a thousand men strong. The guru sun child of the Boogie Down borough. This must be Zen, I thought. This is definitely hip hop. The imagery that imprisons my mind circles, stalks, and burrows deep within the energy force of two people, me and C-Rayz Walz, as the sun cycle sets on the New York skyline, the MC begins.



C-Rayz Walz: [Singing] What’s going down, down, down, down, however do you want it, however do you need it, however…yellow is the color of sun rays… [Singing ends, talking begins] Rays being the mad term, the bad germs implement, the arrow showing the point, the start, where you begin, what the destination of the arrow showing that is infinite, there’s no limit, there’s no end to the possibility of me to get out of twist and intimate. Rays is the light emanating from the sun, the focal point of truth and giving energy, rays, to elevate the mind state, the body composure, the mental stability. Rays, walls are all around you, be it the barriers of the mind, racism, lack of self-esteem, self doubt. Everything that stands out in the root of fear, these walls, barriers, see that, see it, see things for what they are, not what they appear to be. See being a child, the best part, the youth, the understanding, the freedom, the unjudging characteristics of the spirit, the third eye, the mind, see, understand, rays, break barriers, C-Rayz Walz, my name is a mirror.

MVRemix: How do you interpret the idea of God?

C-Rayz Walz: I actually feel energy. God is a word, I guess, made up, but if that’s the name for great energy I feel God all the time. So words are actually feelings when you’re really impacted by them, and when you feel the wind from your words speaking against your hand, or even in your ears as the molecules hit from traveling through the sound, time and distance.

MVRemix: Do you see yourself acting as the God of your lyrics, or your words?

C-Rayz Walz: I don’t ever see myself acting, I only see myself being one with the current energy that I’m in tuned with at the moment. I strive to keep my energy in tune with uplifting, creative things that build life and not destroy it.

MVRemix: What’s your earliest memory?

C-Rayz Walz: My earliest memory is actually, seeing sun light reflect off the walls in my house, my kitchen, my bathroom.

MVRemix: The South Bronx has always been your home, you were born there, and you currently live there, am I correct?

C-Rayz Walz: I lived in the South Bronx my whole life.

MVRemix: I would like it if you could paint a verbal portrait of the South Bronx. How would you describe the South Bronx to someone who has never been there?

C-Rayz Walz: Wide-open streets, a lot of bodegas, with Puerto Rican people and Latino and Spanish decent running stores, projects, blocks that are about 30 cars long, wide streets, dark back alleys, a lot of colors, a lot of big open roads running parallel to each other. A lot of people on the street doing creative things and music, and besides that, just the history and the characteristics of the people that make the Bronx what it is, so visually just add another color that you would never make up before, cause it gotta be original to be a BX portrait.

MVRemix: Do you feel hip hop could have started anywhere else, or do you think there is something unique about the South Bronx that caused hip hop to form?

C-Rayz Walz: I mean hip hop is bigger than where it started, and like land mass are all man made, so that shit is really bullshit too, fuck the Bronx, fuck earth. I don’t really claim any of this shit, truthfully speaking, but if that’s where it happened, it couldn’t have happened anywhere else. The Bronx was where all the elements were for it to happen. The Bronx now is different from the Bronx when hip hop came out of it. When hip hop came out of the Bronx, the Bronx was burned down, a lot of poverty. It was one of the poorest sections of the planet to live on. One of the poorest parts.

MVRemix: Kool Herc is quoted as saying, “Hip hop is universal.” If hip hop was accessible to everyone, do you feel it has universal appeal?

C-Rayz Walz: I think most people believe lies, and most people are untrue. So the truth of the matter is before you can understand the universe you have to know yourself and most people don’t know themselves. As far as the universe, that’s too big of a matter to put into hip hop as being universal, cause in order to understand hip hop, you have to understand yourself. You can listen to it and be entertained, so it’s universally entertaining.

>> continued...





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"I think most people believe lies, and most people are untrue. So the truth of the matter is before you can understand the universe you have to know yourself and most people don’t know themselves. As far as the universe, that’s too big of a matter to put into hip hop as being universal, cause in order to understand hip hop, you have to understand yourself. You can listen to it and be entertained, so it’s universally entertaining."