If you don't own this......You don't know shit about C-Rayz!!!!
Originally released on 12/31/1999 @ The Nuyorican Poets Cafe. Peace to The God John Robinson.
THE PRELUDE is The Debut Solo Offering from C-Rayz Walz feat. Full on Productions by Plain Pat at CkIsInYa Studio Queens NYC. Following "CREEN REGIME: The Series" & "DETONATOR RECORDS: Volume 1" Walz shows from the Gate there is no Border for my Style. I Embody HipHop here as I have continued to do. THE PRELUDE is what you used to remind People what Happened to get to this Point. The Proof is Here...I've Always Been ILL w/ to many Styles to be Boxed in. Cop THE PRELUDE and get The First Blue Print from The SunCycle MC. You HipHop Collection is not complete w/o this Gem. Peace To The 7's!!!!!
Here's an Original Review By a Blind Journalist Named Dino aka "Goldie"
C-Rayz Walz - "The Prelude" LP
The tribal sounding intro to C-Rayz-walz’s debut album gives the “first impression” of a formidible predator – like a T Rex or somemat - waiting in the long grass, poised to spring into action and go for the kill. When this “modern day slave yelling ‘gimme my brain back!’” proceeds to deliver relentless knock out blows over breaks made famous by other artists during “Original Copies,” C-Rays definitely leaps into action and then some… For the rest of the album, this mega charismatic showman proceeds to do Backstroke in quicksand” and consistently show and prove that, unlike too many battle emcees that have come before him, C-rayz can more than simply carry an entire album on his own. All too often, long players by emcees who’ve faught their way up through the battle championships turn out to be limited in ambition and narrow in scope. He himself is aware of how repetitive and limited stuff can get when he remarks how “momma said life’s like a box of chocolates/it’ll make you sick if you don’t watch it!” and so (with the exception of the self-explanatory “Fuck the Mayor”) even if battle remains the chief tactic here, variety is the strength of this project. For example, on this one album, there’s both a Trick Daddy pastiche “Nann God” (feat. MINdDitect) which flips the original track’s unoriginal glorification of ignorance and turns it into a battle cry for knowledge wisdom and understanding, as well as a “Stupid Def” old skool throw-back Stronghold posse cut featuring Percee-P, Poison Pen. L.I.F.E Long & Orko.” Still, the track for which C-rayz is most well known is the incredible 12 minute masterpiece “Great Voices.” This marvellous track finds C-Rayz inpersonating Kool Keith, Sadat X, Professor X, Run DMC, Mos Def, Sticky Fingaz DMX, eminem, Mos Def and Busta Rhymes; paying homage to his influences whilst updating the lexicon at the same time. The only criticism of “Great voices” is that, especially in the cases of DMX and Professor X, he raps better than those he is inpersonating.
I’ve seen some discount this project as a mere “demo” but why? Sure, the emphasis upon parody and beat-jacking medleys is custom stock of demo land. However, If rocking over other people’s breaks was good enough to gain Ghostface Killah accolades as the saviour of the Wu then how about C-rayZ Walz? Announcing how he “aint been to sleep in three days, dreams of spray cans B-girls and deejays,” C-Rayz Walz reverent mimickry and parody make him like some sort of living embodiment of the spirit of hiphop. For a more specific description of his style and lyrical content, the closest comparisons would be with early, pre-jiggyfication Brand Nubian mixed with a pinch of Killah priest’s untapped potential and topped with Kellogs’ secret formula in terms of some cool humour. The album’s “proper” tracks such as “ddegrees,” “long range” and “expand” find lyrics flipping between street woes and 5% typography as C-rayz takes you to cellars and basements and under stair cases to play 21 with crackheads” and burn insense at my altar” at the same time. Much like MF Doom or Aesop Rock C-rayz lets you into his world and when he starts talking about head-shrinking alien antics, he’s not lying when he says “where I’m going to there’s no coming back!”
Lyrically, C-Rayz never gives the listener time to recover and collect their senses between each onslaught so he’s justified with his bost that his rhymes pack the ”inpact of ten gats.” However, While the lyrics are always on point, I can’t agree entirely with C- his summation “I’m a slim cat but my production’s fat!” Plain Pat’s original piano-heavy instrumentals for the album’s “proper” tracks do get a bit formulaic in terms of arrangement and the use of well known rappers’ soundbites for hooks. These tracks are all good but they fail to pack the same punch as the parodies.
Very few emcees have made such a thundrous entry to the rap game as C-rayz walz and the scary thing is, this is only round one. Instead of worshipping the likes of KRS, Jay-Z and rakim just because of what they DID in the distant past, or, the likes of Big Pun or Big L (RIP) for what they COULD HAVE done in the future, people should be supporting the artists putting out quality product in the here and now. I think being killed is an unreasonably high price to pay to get you peoples’ attention so check out and support crews like Atoms family and Stronghold in the here& now and give them the support they need to turn potential into actual greatness. Honestly, if “The Prelude” had dropped on Rawkus or 75ark or whatever you’d be lapping it up.
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