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CD Review: Chali 2Na's Fish Outta Water

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The Deal: Founding member of Jurassic 5 releases his debut solo disc.

The Good: From the opening words, you immediately recognize that Chali 2na hasn't changed a bit – that is to say that his flow still grooves in his unique, baritone style. He's as lyrically strong as ever and gets plenty of help for the new disc – Anthony Hamilton, Damian and Stephen Marley, Beenie Man and Talib Kweli among them. Hamilton lends his vocal abilities to the soulful "Don't Stop" while the Marley brothers get a bit more dancehall for "Guns Up." "So Crazy" hovers over a heavy bass groove while "Comin' Thru" gets a bit more funky. He can also slow things down into a more emotional feeling with "4 Be Be" about a lost loved one – showing a deep, personal side of himself. "Righteous Way" even finds a way to work in the sound of a crying baby without being overpowering or obnoxious, instead coming across as a cute cooing behind the voice of "dad."

The Bad: No complaints – 15 solid tracks clocking in around 54 minutes.

The Verdict: Chali 2Na has continually proven himself over the years – Jurassic 5, his work with Ozomatli and Galactic – and now with his solo debut. If you've enjoyed his previous efforts, this one fits right in.

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