Posted by: Dave on July 30, 2009 at 12:55 am

Chali 2na Fish.jpgNote: This is the first official solo album from the MC known best as a member of Jurassic 5, but also as a founding member of Ozomatli in the ‘90s and a prominently featured artist on hip-hop tracks throughout this decade.
Sound: More modern and than his throwback-heavy work with Jurassic 5. There are definitely several funky old school breakbeats, turntable scratches and soulful samples, but there are even more synth-heavy, slinky, percolating and popping beats ready for either the streets, the club or the block party.
Vocals: His unmistakable, smooth-flowing, deep baritone is one of the most satisfying voices in hip-hop, and it’s in top form here.
Lyrics: After some cookie-cutter bragging and boasting in the first couple of tracks, he raises his game on the rest of the album. He gets nostalgic for ‘80s hip-hop, r&b and graffiti, creates a true anthem for himself and gets more serious on several tracks as he dissects the dangers of neglecting loved ones and failing to nurture relationships, contemplates struggles in the poverty-stricken and war-ravaged parts of the world, and delivers a sobering tribute to his cousin who was trampled and killed when a fight broke out at a club.
Look For: On the lighter side of things, the scattered clips of legendary radio DJ Charlie Tuna—including some interaction between Charlie and Chali—are irresistibly fun.
Heavy Rotation tracks: “Righteous Way”; “Comin’ Thru”; “4 Be Be”
Medium Rotation tracks: “Love’s Gonna Getcha”; “Graff Time”; “Controlled Coincidence”; “International”; “Don’t Stop”
Recommended: Chali sounds out of his element when he teams up with thicker, more aggressive beats, but thankfully he gets most of those missteps out of the way early. He’s a tremendous voice who—more of than not—has an exceptional way with words. This is a solid solo debut for him.
Grade: A- (Top 20 Albums of 2009 Candidate)

Listen to Tracks/Buy Music:
On iTunes

One Response to “Review: Chali 2na Fish Outta Water (Decon)”

  1. New Music Nation » Blog Archive » Top 20 Albums of 2009 (Plus 20 More) Says:

    […] 1. The Rural Alberta Advantage Hometowns (Saddle Creek) 2. Kid Cudi Man on the Moon: The End of Day (Motown/G.O.O.D.) 3. Brother Ali Us (Rhymesayers) 4. Psapp The Camel’s Back (Domino) 5. The Decemberists The Hazards of Love (Capitol) 6. The Mars Volta Octahedron (Warner Brothers) 7. Grizzly Bear Veckatimest (Warp) 8. Jack Peñate Everything Is New (XL) 9. Shakira She Wolf (Epic) 10. M. Ward Hold Time (Merge) 11. Neko Case Middle Cyclone (Anti-) 12. Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit (Lightning Rod) 13. Franz Ferdinand Tonight: Franz Ferdinand (Domino) 14. Handsome Furs Face Control (Sub Pop) 15. Electric Owls Ain’t Too Bright (Vagrant) 16. Chali 2na Fish Outta Water (Decon) 17. UUVVWWZ UUVVWWZ (Saddle Creek) 18. Thrice Beggars (Vagrant) 19. P.O.S. Never Better (Rhymesayers) 20. N.A.S.A. The Spirit of Apollo (Anti-) […]

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