C-Rayz Walz

Year Of The Beast

[3] Before making his second album, C-Rayz Walz allegedly burned his old notebooks. We can wish he’d instead given them to G-Unit or Ja Rule, but the Big Apple veteran evidently has plenty of material left for himself. “I walk through the ghetto/holding my dic… tionary," he pointedly puns, and his Wu-Tang-inspired metaphors and mysticism demonstrate he wasn’t just clutching his jimmy during all those mic battles, either. The production, including cuts from Def Jux all-stars El-P and Aesop Rock, is suitably ominous but a little plain; this microphone Beast deserves a few more memorable beats. (DEFINITIVE JUX) Dan LeRoy