“I got flavor like Adobo, you ain’t know though? / My raps go back like quack delioso.”
These nonsensical lines belong to C-Rayz Walz, a Bronx native known for his freestyle prowess and quirky independent records. This Saturday Walz is bringing his scatterbrained brand of hip hop to the Blind Pig.
C-Rayz Walz first gained notoriety on the underground battle circuit by boasting such freestyle luminaries as Supernatural and Jin. After parlaying his buzz into multiple twelve-inch singles, Walz signed with indie label Definite Jux in 2002.
Signing with Def Jux and releasing two full-length albums did not prove to be a difficult transition for C-Rayz. While many freestyle champs struggle to translate their battle skills into studio success, Walz sidestepped this common pitfall by relying on a style that remains true to his roots.
The majority of Walz’s music has a free-association quality to it that embodies the spontaneity of an impromptu freestyle session. Tracks such as “Buck 80” from 2003’s Ravipops do not aspire to be lyrical masterpieces or chart-topping anthems. Instead, C-Rayz offers stream of conscious rhymes that are at once clever, casual and down-right hilarious: “Chicks dig how I spit it, ladies love the phlegm / I don’t ball with none of y’all I’m still above the rims.” Walz’s formidable mic presence gives even his most lackluster lines a distinctive punch.
In spite of his battle-oriented background, C-Rayz is not strictly a punchline rapper. On his recent full length, 2005’s Year of the Beast, Walz discusses a variety of social issues and his own personal struggles. “Black Soap” finds C-Rayz ruminating on his transition from stick-up kid to professional rapper: “Peep the autobiographic havoc / Flashback to past I used to pack bags for cash / Use all the change for video games / Thinkin’ long range now my scenario changed / Rites of passage the civilizing savage / I adapted this and embraced balance.”
With his whimsical, well-composed battle rhymes, Walz’s live show promises to be an exercise in refreshingly raw lyricism. If that’s not entertaining enough, challenge C-Rayz to a battle and watch a true lyrical beast emerge.