Interview- Rahzel: Da Godfather of Noyze

Xiao Bizzle got a chance to ask Rahzel a few questions about his upcoming performance at Bling, his feelings about the global state of hip hop and what he does in case of a “hiccup” on stage…


Bizzle: How would you describe your musical style or art form to someone who wasn’t familiar with hip hop?
Rahzel: Human beatbox, vocal percussionist, mcee… i do all styles of music [but] with my mouth…

Bizzle: Where do you get your inspiration?
Rahzel: I am inspired by all types of music and sounds around me everyday… by listening to many types of music and sounds… REALLY listening to all the layers of sounds… I am inspired when i go to countries around the world and see hundreds of other beatboxers. I have influenced them to keep this movement alive and that inspires me to keep going…

Bizzle: Being perhaps the first commercially successful BeatBoxer, what advice would you give to an aspiring Chinese (or any nationality) vocal percussionist?
Rahzel: First, do not copy or duplicate what i do. That is not the path to your own success. Many times kids want to show that they can do what i do by doing my routines. They cant. The best thing to do is to come up with your own style, your own beats, your own techniques, and that will make you stand out on your own and be able to start a career. Work on your stage presence and your stage show. Just doing fast beats 800mph is not good. Work on your sounds and learn to separate the different sounds and tones within the beats you make… Never give up or be discouraged… practice practice practice… I’m still learning and developing my own techniques everyday.

Bizzle: Would you be interested in working with any Chinese hip-hop artists? (Because, I can arrange that… haha)
Rahzel: Yes of course! Myself and DJ JS-1 REALLY want to record with Chinese Hip Hop artists! Seriously.. lets make this happen and make history!

Bizzle: As the “Godfather of Noyze” you have traveled around quite a bit with the Roots and on your own, and soon to be visiting China, so on a bigger picture, where do you see the direction of hip hop going Internationally? (Will it ever surpass or equal the movement in the US? )

Rahzel: It has already surpassed the US movement. In every country in the world there are now hip hop acts and groups who sell many many records and make very good music. If you add up all the countries and all the groups, it is a lot! The problem is the language barrier and promotion. All countries play and support US artists, but not every country, including the US support or play any music from other international acts. It is difficult for French hip hop to break into the UK, Germany, Japan, etc because of the language difference. Many people speak English around the world and that helps US artists. Plus, hip hop originated in the states and it will always be the “mecca” of hiphop, so obviously US artists will always do well, but we love a lot of international hiphop. JS-1 is now working on an international hip hop album with ONLY mcees from several different countries…

Bizzle: What do you expect the audience to be like for an American beatboxer/MC at a luxury hip hop club (Bling) in Beijing to be like?
Rahzel: We are not sure what to expect. Hopefully it will be a good hiphop crowd and not a commercial dance crowd. however, it does not matter, we bring our traditional form of hiphop, two turntables and a microphone, all over the globe, and people love and respect it. For those who know, they will love it and for those who are not sure what we are doing, they will get the ultimate lesson in real hiphop, turntablism and beatboxing.

Bizzle: What is one (or two) things you want to do in China while you are here?
Rahzel: Visit the Great Wall of China, the Forbidden City, and other historical sites. It is not very often that we get to be here and take in the amazing culture and history of your country. China has one of the longest and greatest histories as a country and we are excited to visit some of these sites. And second, we hope to bring some good hiphop to the people and influence some more people to beatbox, scratch records, or just appreciate hiphop music.

Bizzle: What brands of hats, sneaks or other gear are you feeling right now?
Rahzel: I always love my new era hats. I have a huge collection. I am not brand specific. I go shopping and simply buy what i like. whatever catches my eye and i think looks good on me. So its not really about the brand name, but more about what i like or dont like. And DJ JS-1 is traditional old school Rock Steady Crew and loves his Adidas always!

Bizzle: Have you ever been beat-boxing on stage and had a major “hiccup” or breakdown? How do you handle that?
Rahzel: Yes once or twice. I am human, it happens. If i have to cough of hiccup, i find a way to fit it in the beat or pause and keep going. It does not happen often but if it does, i kinda like it, because it shows i am human. We are prepared to handle whatever happens on stage!

Thanks to Rahzel for the interview!

Don’t forget!


Date: Friday, November 20

Time: 9pm-late

Cover: RMB 100


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One comment

  • alice
    November 18, 2009 - 4:57 pm | Permalink

    Awesome interview Bizzle!
    I love Rahzel. I’m super jealous that he’ll be in China which is no where near where I am.
    !! ! !!


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