Rahzel provides GW students with hip-hop education

Hip-hop artist Rahzel broke it down for a crowd of about 100 in the Marvin Center Ballroom Saturday night.

We’re going to break it down so you can comprehend, Rahzel said to the audience.

Before his set, Rahzel, the self-proclaimed Godfather of Noyze from the hip-hop group The Roots, asked how many people in the audience were hip-hop fans.

For those people who didn’t raise their hands, tonight will be an experience, Rahzel said. You are now enrolled in beat-box 101.

Audience members exploded in applause for All I Know, the first single off Rahzel’s album, and If Your Mother Only Knew, which dazzled the audience with a wide array of sound effects.

You don’t think it’s me, right? he asked a front-row audience member after performing both the chorus and beats of his songs. Rahzel then slowed his pace to prove he was in fact doing both.

GW band Liquid Rhythm, featuring rappers Goldie and JK, opened the show. Rahzel began his set with an introduction by DJ JS 1, who worked the turntable for the show.

I can die a happy man, junior Donald Pitz said after Rahzel’s performance.

Though many in the crowd were impressed by his beat boxing and rapping skills, some students said they thought the set, which lasted just under an hour, was too short.

I thought it was great, junior Jackie Racicot said. I thought it was a lot of fun. (But) I was surprised it ended early.

Rahzel, who said he wants to bring hip-hop back to the days before it was filled with violent messages, ended the concert by exchanging peace signs with the audience.

Rahzel said he learned to beat box in Queens when he was 9 years old. He cited rap artists Doug E. Fresh, Biz Markie, Grand Master Flash and others as his childhood influences.

His beat-boxing skills gained him a place in the group The Roots, which he calls the most creative band ever. Rahzel is touring in support of his solo debut album, The Fifth Element: Make the Music 2000. Many members of The Roots helped create the album with cameo performances and by producing various tracks.

When you have a solo project, you have to promote it, Rahzel said.

The Hatchet has disabled comments on our website. Learn more.