Chali 2na, 'Fish Outta Water' (Decon)

Critical Mass
Label:

by Mosi Reeves

Best known as the distinctive voice of backpack hip-hop faves Jurassic 5, Chali 2na is sometimes reduced to a supporting role on his solo debut. Still, he surrounds himself with crack producers -- Jake One, Scott Storch, and others -- who drop slick, thumping tracks sweetened by background singers and melodious hooks from Anthony Hamilton and Beenie Man. Chali 2na uses his cavernous baritone as another resonant instrument in the mix, while his lyrics, which address police brutality ("Guns Up") and fatherhood ("Righteous Way"), lend subtext for deeper listening.

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