The Best Damn Rap Tour

Passive resistance -- with Kevlar

No disrespect for co-headliners J-Live and Vast Aire (of Cannibal Ox), but the star attraction and the recipient of any spare ice backstage has to be New York's rap fixture C-Rayz Walz, who was the only three-time champion of the long-running EOW MC Challenge freestyle contest, and was even banned from competing in the Blaze Battle for defeating all contestants in past battles. Of course, rising beyond the competition doesn't mean he no longer has targets to aim his verbal bazookas at. On his new album, Year of the Beast, Walz serves notice to any would-be gangstas that he's got his eyes on them -- and his back. And if being "Gandhi with a bulletproof vest" isn't distinction enough, he's also the only rapper who has Academy Award-winner Adrien Brody backing him up on a record.

 
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