A&E » Arts

Hail the Godfather of Noyze


Who: Rahzel Vs. JS-1

Where: Garibaldi Lift Co.

When: Wednesday, April 9

He's a legend. He's a pioneer. He's coming to Whistler.

The undisputed "Godfather of Noyze" has re-defined the beat box. A self-defined, vocal percussionist, Rahzel has perfectly mastered the hip hop art form and 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, tracks from the magic mixing desks of Pete Rock and others. His mockery of instruments and arcade of sounds leaves audiences captivated, wondering is he for real?"

Rahzel is perhaps 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 debut album , Make the Music 2000 , boasts guest performances by Aaron Hall, Q-Tip of A Tribe Called Quest and many others. Rahzel’s band mates in The Roots also produced and performed on several tracks. The project was drenched with an urban eclectic edge and a uniqueness that rejects categorization, making it a collage of almost every musical genre.

A glance at Rahzel’s musical influences speaks to his appreciation for the art of making music. He explained: "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. Growing up as a youngster in New York, Rahzel admired his cousin Rahim, a founding member of the pioneering Furious Five.

"I remember watching Grand Master Flash before I could even see over the gate," recalled Rahzel. "Having that influence alone was incredible."

He recalled that growing up in Queens meant that "not having was never an excuse for not doing." Rahzel learned how to feed his need to be creative.

"We didn’t have the turntables inside the locker room and we couldn’t bring our boom box in there. Either we were banging on the locker, or somebody was (making music) with their mouth. I was the one who made the beats with my mouth. I worked hard so that if you closed your eyes you would swear that you were hearing a record, a radio, or a band."

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 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," said Rahzel. "We’re colleagues, and we have tremendous respect for each other. They respect my history, I respect theirs."

The 5th Element of Hip-Hop, and the Heavyweight Beat Box Champion of the World, Rahzel, will deafen Whistler, Wednesday, April 9 at the GLC, accompanied by DJ JS-1 of the legendary Rocksteady Crew and Whistler’s own Mat the Alien. Tickets will sell out if they haven’t already. $25 in advance $30 at the door.

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