C-RAYZ WALZ-“Who The F%@k Are You?”

I’ve got a love/hate thing with C-Rayz Walz.  I thought his collabo with Kosha Dillz in 2009 was one of the best albums of the year.  It had humor, deft wordplay, excellent flow and solid beats.  But his solo albums have often left me a little bored.  The production is always a little weak and his style gets tiring after a while.  C-Rayz’s albums usually start strong, but go on too long.  He’s best when he’s partnered up.

That said, “Who The F%@k Are You?” is the best C-Rayz record I’ve ever heard.  The first five tracks are pure fire, then it dips a bit, but ends strong.  (It’s a 16-song CD that could—and should—have been about 10 songs.)  some of these cuts even sound radio ready—like “The Art of Energy” and “In Your Soul,” which features Slug.  Other notable cuts include “The Family Crest” (a tribute to Gang Starr) and “Needle in Ya Arm,” a funny-yet-sensitive ode to drug dealers and drug users.  Other guests include Karniege, Reef The Lost Cauze, and Killah Priest.

C-Rayz also tones it down a bit here—he has a tendency to be bombastic (it’s not coincidence his name is an anagram of “Crazy” after all), and in doing so he allows his flow to catch up to him.  He doesn’t sound rushed or forced, which is one of my big complaints about some of his older work.  Perhaps he’s getting older, or settling into his spot as a veteran who has been in the game for a long time.  Or maybe he learned from his 2007 arrest and has decided to calm down a bit.  (He raps about them on the lead track, “MC Jail.”)

In Your Soul – C-Rayz with Slug Of Atmosphere & Samuel & Sum In 16

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