Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Chali 2na Review

I reviewed Chali 2na's Fish Outta Water this week for Rapreviews. It's the first solo album from the former Jurassic 5 member, and sees him branching out into reggae and club music besides his tried and true golden age style hip hop. I liked it. You can here his song "International" here. I haven't listened to a ton of Jurassic 5, but I've always appreciated Chali 2na's upbeat, baritone. To quote myself, the album reminded me of a less commercial, less obnoxious version of the Black Eyed Peas. Like the Peas, Chali mixes in dance beats, reggae, and R&B to create a multi-hued version of hip hop. He sounds out of his comfort zone on some of the harder-edged tracks, and his upbeat baritone is better suited to the more old school songs. Still, while he may be reaching, he never tries to be something he's not: this isn't Chali's version of "The Funky Headhunter." "Fish Outta Water" is a bright, colorful album that does an excellent job of incorporating different styles into a cohesive whole. It's the sound of man trying out new sounds and new materials after years of being part of a group. Chali 2na finally has his moment in the spotlight, and he delivers the goods.

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