The Embodiment of Instrumentation

Vocal turntablism—more commonly known as beatboxing—has long taken a back seat to the other elements of hip-hop. But no more.

Vocal turntablism—more commonly known as beatboxing—has long taken a back seat to the other elements of hip-hop. But no more. Vocal turntablists are making their marks all over hip-hop. Scratch does his part with this, his solo debut. A member of the Roots, the Philadelphia native takes this opportunity to shine by showcasing his ability to craft any number of drum patterns and instrument licks using only his mouth. Philly friends and members of the Roots family all take part in the proceedings. Scratch crafts an old-school breakbeat feel for Black Thought, Malik B, and M.A.R.S. Co-op on "U Know the Rulez." He also shows his diversity by dabbling in jazz ("Breath of Fresh Air—Interlude") and R&B with Floetry and Bilal on "What Happ'n" and "Square One," respectively.—RH