If you wanna hear rhymes about the newest Escalade, shiny 20s, or pimpin hos, choose from a myriad of rappers looking to capitalize on a long-established commercial style. If you want a dose of blunted reality and original flavor, cop Ravipops from Boogie Down emcee C-Rayz Walz, latest addition to the Definitive Jux roster.
Though this is his first full-length album, C-Rayz has earned his rep in the New York underground circles and is poised to break out, as demonstrated by his recent opening for Mobb Deep at the B.B. King Blues Club. Ravipops is just like C-Rayz’s live shows: it emanates energy and creativity.
C-Rayz has a distinctive voice, sometimes reminiscent of Sadat X, and a versatile delivery, which hints at Reggie Noble. But his flow is all his own. His colorful lyrics show he’s comfortable on the mike, whether he’s battling or droppin’ knowledge, and he constantly peppers the verse with metaphors. Case in point: this verse from "Battle Me," which is as close to a dance track you’re gonna get on Ravipops:
Battle me don’t challenge me with those simple styles/ Have your crew saying ‘ooh’ like some Temple Owls/ I’m like John Stockton I don’t need to have to score/ I just make the game better by bein’ out on the floor/ So when you ice grill me instead of breakin’ your jaw/ I throw fireballs in your face like a young Drew Barrymore…
On "Protect My Family," C-Rayz shows his growing maturity and dedication to his seed.
I take Bacardi shots cuz the youth is illin’/ But I’m Ravipops, that’s my excuse for livin/ Forgiving myself for not goin’ to trading school/ Now my eyes stay red like I just came out the pool/ I want son to learn to build, write and read from me/ And not have cocaine plans with weed money…
The beats are consistently good. Two of the best, "Guns and Butter" and "Thug Melodies," are simple yet layered and build intensity as C-Rayz spits each verse.
Ravipops is C-Rayz’s showcase, and he comes through all the way. The album is refreshingly precise, with a few but quality featured emcees, no skits, and not one mention of the size of his rims.