Rahzel - Make The Music 2000      
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written by Andrew Lunny    
Rahzel, also known as the Godfather of Noize, is one of the few hip hoppers to still put beat boxing on his records, most notably on The Root's LPs and his first single, 'All I Know,' which fused his vocal scratching with traditional emceeing to form a unique sound. A couple of months after 'All I Know' originally dropped, Rahzel has made his debut solo album, 'Make The Music 2000.'

It has to be said that this is LP is very different from your average hip hop album, mostly due to the fact that each track stands out from each other. The album is mainly divided by three styles of tracks, the basic emceeing and vocal scratching over okay beats, Rahzel providing the beats for established artists to go over, and live beat boxing cuts by Rahzel, which stand out as the most impressive.

On the title track, Rahzel manages to impress with his characteristic flow over a fairly uninspired beat. While he may not be the best MC in the world, Rahzel is nice to listen to and lyrically solid. The tricks he does with his voice are sure to appeal though, and the combination of these two elements keeps you listening to it.

This style of track fills up a few of the record's songs, but annoying hooks and generic production keeps these from being too impressive. 'All I Know' is the LP's best track of this style, while 'Carbon Copy' and 'Just The Beginning' fail to live up to Rahzel's potential by quite a bit.

About halfway through the album you start to hear a different style of song, with Rahzel simply providing a beat boxing beat over which others go. Slick Rick delivers probably the best of these performances on 'Night Riders,' and Q-Tip also does well over Rahzel's mouth-made music on 'To The Beat.' Surprisingly contributions from the legendary Roots crew are minimal, with only Black Thought popping up on 'Suga Sista' to deliver a rhyme that doesn't live up to his best. The guest appearances are rounded out with Erykah Badu's 'Southern Girl,' and creates possibly the most original song this year.

Unlike most studio LPs though, 'Make The Music 2000' includes a significant amount of live material. The most notable of these are the excellent 'Wu Tang Live,' where Rahzel does a wu-style kung fu sample before beat boxing the beats for a couple of classic Wu tracks, and 'If Your Mother Only Knew' where Rahzel flips the Aaliyah track first by doing the beat, then the vocals, followed by both, which is quite awe-inspiring.

In the end, 'Make The Music 2000' is a very creative album, and is mostly different from any hip-hop record you've ever heard. Although many of the studio tracks are filler material, the LP is worth purchasing just for the live material and the incredible beat boxing. It may not be the finest hip-hop album you'll hear this year, but the beat boxing is unparalleled, and that's what this album is really about.

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