Chali 2na - Fish Outta Water
Impressively diverse debut from former J5 man
After several years in limbo, Fish Outta Water - the debut solo album from former J5 stalwart Chali 2na (if you discount the Fish Market mix tape) - has finally come up for air. And it was well worth the incubation period. In a bid to assert himself as a strong, diverse talent all on his own, there are notable stylistic shifts peppered throughout these 15 cuts. From the familiarly funky old-school jams on tracks like Get Focused, Don't Stop and the DJ Numark-produced Comin' Thru to the Caribbean influenced International and a fairly prominent fusion of R'n'B and soul throughout, Fish Outta Water provides colourful backdrops to 2na's unique low-end flow. In perhaps the album's boldest move however, more modern, club-styled beats are plundered on tracks like So Crazy, to surprisingly impressive effect. Add copious amounts of humour and impassioned storytelling to this mix, and the 2na fish has served up quite a catch.