September 27, 2023

Rahzel - Rahzel's Greatest Knock Outs! (2004)

Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Hip-Hop
Label Number: SSR 9010

© 2004 Sure Shot Records
Some showing off for showing off's sake keeps Rahzel's Greatest Knockouts from being the start-to-finish success Make the Music 2000 was, but the showing off includes an almost perfect human beatbox reproduction of the Art of Noise's "Moments in Love," so who's complaining? An album of human beatboxing and verbal sound effects might sound limited and "not for everyone," but besides having incredible, Bobby McFerrin-esque skills, Rahzel knows how to pace an album. Held together with a boxing motif and a ton of video game noises -- both sampled and imitated by Rahzel -- Rahzel's Greatest Knockouts does have a definite mixtape feel, making it a gritty alternative to Make the Music 2000. Built from Music 2000 outtakes, radio appearances, and whatnot, the mix whips by at a frantic pace with only the CD player's track counter able to separate the flow. The tributes to Jam Master Jay and Aaliyah are emotion-filled stunners that are easy to pick out -- as are Slick Rick's and Cee-Lo's appearances -- but half the fun of the album is letting all the noises spill out of the speakers unsorted. On the second listen, you might find that what you swore up and down was a sample is actually just Rahzel and his microphone. Fun and filling, this is the second time the man has proved the human beatbox can be much, much more than a freaky novelty.

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