Probably best known in the semi-mainstream world as a member of the Roots, Rahzel is an MC that specializes in the “fifth element” of hip-hop culture — beatboxing (which comes after graffiti spraying, DJing, MCing, and breakdancing). He actively discourages classification of his sound, attempting to remain on the eclectic edge of the commercial music. According to the artist, his influences include Biz Markie, Doug E Fresh, Buffy of the Fat Boys, Bobby McFerrin, and Al Jarreau. His goal is to gain respect for beatboxing as a true art form on its own merits. Growing up, Rahzel looked up to his cousin Rahim of the Furious Five, and went to Grandmaster Flash’s shows regularly. He later became a roadie for the Ultramagnetic MCs. Rahzel has in fact mastered the art of beatboxing, able to recreate full songs, with accompaniment by himself without instrumentation, able to sing a chorus and provide a backing beat simultaneously, able to invoke impressions of singers and rappers on a whim. Any fan of hip-hop should definitely invest in his Make the Music 2000 album.