I personally have Rahzel to thank for resurrecting my interest and knowledge of beatboxing.
It had been a long time since I had seen or heard The Fat Boys, Just-Ice & DMX (not the Def Jam recording artist) and Doug E. Fresh in the late 90s. I was aware of the hip hop element courtesy of the aforementioned artists.
Similar to the De La Soul/A Tribe Called Quest/Souls of Mischief Montreal show in 1994, the first Roots show in this fair city is legendary. From the reports that got back to me,
Rahzel ‘s performance accounts for a great portion of it being so memorable.
Keeping in mind that I was not much of a Roots fan when they first appeared on the scene, Rahzel did catch my attention with his appearances on their mid-late 90s albums. I would say he and then the Illadelph Halflife album converted me.
By the time I had realized The Roots were real deal, the sad news of Rahzel no longer being part of the group circulated and I realized I may not be able to have my own Montreal 1994 Roots show to experience or speak of.
I was happy he had released a solo album. All I knew was that I had to get it for more of the heat from the debut single and his unique brand of beatbox.
My New York trip for CMJ 2011 was my least favorite of the trips but I managed to make up for it through crate-digging, shopping and networking. When I heard Rahzel & DJ JS-1 were performing during my time in the Big Apple, I made my way to the venue. Unfortunately I arrived at the tail end of his set. At the end of the event, he along with other performers was in front of the venue talking to fans.
Rahzel & DJ JS-1 made a visit to Montreal in 2012 but I couldn’t make that one either. Their March 2013 show with Random Recipe at Phi Centre was to be the third chance and the charm for me to witness Rahzel rock the house.