Hard-working, charisma, dope freestyles, flow, songs and
live show – all vital aspects if you want to be a respected emcee. These facets
also comprise the gems that C-Rayz Walz
stays dropping. All of this contributes in a big way to his universal appeal,
from extensive repping on the indie scene with a prolific discography and tour
schedule, to being called in by MTV to
teach an average cat to battle rap. After dropping eight albums, countless
singles, and working with everyone from Aesop
to Academy Award Winner Adrian
, The Suncycle MC is at it
again with 1975: The Year of the Beast,
formerly titled The Best of the Beast.

Since this is essentially a “Best Of” album, many of joints featured may
already be familiar. While this can be a let down with some artists, you have
to remember how extensive this cat’s catalog really is. As expected this record
is filled to the brim some of the wittiest lyrics around, featuring the double-meaning
punch lines C-Rayz is famous for.
One of the choicest cuts is “Drug In My Veins,” where lyrics abound as C-Rayz and Breez Evahflowin’ outdo themselves over JS-1’s elegant strings. Another great track that sees C-Rayz trading verses with a guest is “Keepin’
It Raw,” where Immortal Technique spits with his usually
ferocity, “you couldn’t face-off with me
during plastic surgery, I don’t need to destroy you with a communist
insurgency, I’ll just look at you and leave you bleeding internally.
” The
infectious “Addiction” is also a good addition to this collection, even if it
does seem a little out of place amongst the street anthems and battle raps that
make up most of this record.

The thing about compilation records, particularly “Best Of”s, is that you run the
risk of hearing either things you’ve heard a lot already, or just plain a lot
of joints you skip in between the tracks you actually like to listen to. C-Rayz did a great job here of not just
putting all the most popular tracks on, but actually putting really strong
material that does a good job of displaying his skills and not lagging anywhere
noticeably. Even if you’re familiar with some of the material, this compilation
is definitely worth at least checking out just for the joints that you’re not.