C-Rayz Walz

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C-Rayz Walz
Birth name Waleed Shabazz
Born (1975-08-03) August 3, 1975 (age 39)
The Bronx, New York, United States
Genres Underground hip hop
Occupations Rapper, songwriter, musician
Instruments Vocals
Years active 1997 – present
Labels Definitive Jux, SunCycle Entertainment, Draft Records, Babygrande Records, Kings Link Records, Modular Mood Music, Worker B Records, Detonator Records
Associated acts Plain Pat, Kosha Dillz
Website www.crayzwalz.com

Waleed Shabazz (born August 3, 1975), better known by his stage name C-Rayz Walz, is an MC from The Bronx, New York. He is currently a member of the legendary NY hip hop syndicate Stronghold. C-Rayz Walz has been a fixture in the New York hip-hop scene for years. He hosts many hip-hop shows and events, has appeared on over 43 singles that consistently make Billboard charts & College Radio. Walz has had a video in rotation on BET and started his own label, SunCycle Ent. C-Rayz has appeared on many other rappers' records, including Aesop Rock and Immortal Technique, and has done work with such artists as Percee P and Messiah J & The Expert. Immortal Technique is reputed to be the only MC who can hold his ground against Walz in a freestyle battle.[1][2]

Early life[edit]

Shabazz was born and raised in The Bronx. At the age of two, his father was murdered, likely as a result of his involvement with drug dealing. According to Shabazz, his father was "a drug dealer but a good man" and was the inspiration for his song Protect My Family. In an interview, he describes how he was deeply affected by his death, saying, "I was always socially dysfunctional, as far as not being able to deal with other kids having fathers."[3] Shabazz described how he drew wisdom from older community members and ultimately gained inspiration for his music and how he views being a father himself. In the same interview, he points to his music as compensation for his social dysfunction resulting from not having a dad growing up.[3]

At the time that Shabazz was growing up, The Bronx was the site of the early hip hop scene.[4] Shabazz recalls listening to DJ Cool Herc, who is credited with originating the genre, in Echo Park where he lived. In this environment, Shabazz developed a love of music and began freestyling with his friends for fun. Both he and his childhood friend and now professional rapper Prodigy describe MC battles in the lunch room in school.[3][5] He recalls how his ambitions to be an MC were sealed when Busy Bee Starski heard him rhyming: "When I was 5 or 6 years old I freestyled for Busy Bee. He gave me $5, said, 'Boy, you're good. Keep rocking son.' I ran with that because he was one of the greatest of all time. I knew I was a freestyle legend when I was 6."[5]

Career[edit]

In 2003, C-Rayz Walz released Ravipops (The Substance) on Definitive Jux.[6] In 2005, he released Year of the Beast.[7]

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

  • The Prelude (2001)
  • Detonator Records Volume 1 (2001) (with Akrobatik, Breez Evahflowin, and Chan)
  • Off the Radar (2003)
  • Limelight (The Outroduction) (2003)
  • Ravipops (The Substance) (2003)
  • Year of the Beast (2005)
  • 1975: Return of the Beast (2006)
  • The Best of the Beast (2006)
  • The Dropping (2006)
  • Monster Maker (2007) (with Sharkey)
  • Chorus Rhyme (2007) (with Parallel Thought)
  • Freestyle vs. Written (2008) (with Kosha Dillz)
  • Almighty: Original S.I.N. (2008) (with Killah Priest, M-Eighty, Son One, Bronze Nazareth, and 5-Star, as Almighty)
  • Who the F%@k Are You? (2009)
  • Naptown: The Broken Comb (2010)
  • All Blvck Everything: The Prelude (2011)
  • Year of the Beatnikz (2011)
  • The Code (2012)
  • The Calendar (2012)
  • St. Patrick Rayz: The Leper-Con (2013)
  • Almighty: The Solar Facts (2013)
  • Feel Me (2014) (with Sallam Said)

Compilation albums[edit]

  • Singular Plurals (2002)
  • Singular Plurals Vol. 2 (2005)
  • Free Rayz Walz (2008)
  • Beat the System (2010)
  • Where the Walz Things Are (2010)
  • I Am Numba Four (2011)

EPs[edit]

Singles[edit]

  • "Pots and Pans" (2001)
  • "It's a Wrap" b/w "Peroxide" (2002)
  • "The Essence" (2003)
  • "Buck 80" b/w "Body You" (2003)
  • "We Live" b/w "Protect My Family" (2004)
  • "R'Thentic" b/w "Street Reppin'" (2005)
  • "Dead Flowers" (2009)
  • "Linsanity" (2012)

Guest appearances[edit]

  • Aesop Rock - "Bent Life" from Labor Days (2001)
  • Cannibal Ox - "Battle for Asgard" from The Cold Vein (2001)
  • El-P - "Blood" from Fantastic Damage (2002)
  • Dutchmassive - "The Hook" from Junk Planet (2004)
  • Chase Phoenix - "Say Something" from Cut to the Chase (2004)
  • Sadat X - "Gamer" from Brand New Bein' (2009)
  • Time - "Paraghnoid" from Naked Dinner (2009)
  • MC Paul Barman - "The Moon" from Thought Balloon Mushroom Cloud (2009)
  • Access Immortal - "I Love New York" from Birth of a Dream (2010)
  • DJ Lord Ron - "Concrete Bars (Echo Park Beat Street N2 Da Future)" and "It'z Da R.C.P." from Environmental Shape Sounds of DJ Lord Ron (2010)
  • Irealz - "Starz of the Godz" from The Code of Omerta (2011)
  • Verse Essential - "Between the Lines" from Ingenious: Deluxe Edition (2011)
  • Bedlam Brethren - "Apocalypto" from Black Feather Messengers (2012)
  • Apaulo Treed & Knightstalker - "Contraband" from The Last Line of Defence (2013)
  • Junclassic - "My Style (Remix)" from Blvd Backdrop (2013)
  • Cannibal Ox - "Street Reppin" and "That Moment Before Crazy" from Gotham (2013)

References[edit]

External links[edit]