The undisputed beatbox champion of the world & “Godfather of Noyze” has re-defined the beat box. A self-defined “vocal percussionist,” Rahzel has perfectly mastered this quintessential hip-hop art form and has emerged as a “true virtuoso.”
To hear him is to be converted. Billboard Magazine proclaimed: “Everyone should experience his fascinating rhythms…using just his lips, cheeks, gums, and Adam’s apple he recreates, with amazing accuracy and detail.”
His mockery of instruments/arcade of sounds leaves audiences captivated, wondering, “is he for real?” Rahzel is best known as a member of The Roots, hip-hop’s cutting-edge live band. Over the past several years he has emerged as the one to watch. His eagerly anticipated debut album on MCA Records, entitled “Make the Music 2000”, boasted guest performances by Aaron Hall, Q-Tip of A Tribe Called Quest, and Black Thought of The Roots. Legendary hip-hop producer Pete Rock lent his production skills on the hit single, “All I Know.”
A glance at Rahzel’s musical influences speaks to his appreciation for the art of making music. He draws from the line of Doug E. Fresh/Biz Markie, of Bobby McFerrin, and of Al Jarreau. He explains: “With my vocal percussions, I want to bridge the gap among various musical genres. I want the beat box to be respected as a true art form.” Though his tastes do run far and wide, Rahzel is quick to acknowledge first and foremost his hip-hop origins.
Over time, Rahzel’s own gifts for vocal percussion led him to seek his own career as an artist. Others, like Biz Markie, Doug E. Fresh, and the Fat Boys’ Buffy had made strides in the form, but Rahzel possessed a talent so great, he was soon recognized up and down the east coast as the premiere human beat box artist.
He already had a thriving solo career when The Roots asked him to join their group. “Being with The Roots enhanced what I was doing even more,” says Rahzel. “We’re colleagues, and we have tremendous respect for each other. They respect my history, I respect theirs.”
Since the release of “Make the Music 2000”, Rahzel has continued his success by releasing a critically acclaimed mixtape style album entitled “Rahzel’s Greatest Knockouts”. The album featured collaborations with KRS-One, The RZA, Black Thought, Everlast, and Slick Rick. Also noteworthy would be Rahzel’s recent guest spot on Sean Paul’s 6x Platinum American debut.
But perhaps Rahzel’s most ambitious collaborations have come of late, with music multi-tasker Mike Patton (Faith No More, Tomahawk, Fantomas, Lovage, etc). On stage, the two formed a pairing that left crowds speechless; performing a completely vocal based improv set across the country to sold out audiences. A chance meeting with Bjork at the Irving Plaza (NYC) show led to Rahzel’s most notable collaboration, landing over half of the songs on the music megastar’s latest album, “Medulla”.
The Beatbox king stays busy on the road as well, with a constant onslaught of college performances, US club shows, and tv/film/radio voiceovers. His performances at such events as this year’s US Open of Snowboarding (NBC), have continued Rahzel’s legacy of being the undisputed Beatbox champion of the world.