Chali 2NA, "Fish Outta Water"

Album Review
<p>Between serving as the Darth Vader-voiced de facto frontman of <a href="/artist/jurassic-5/260237">Jurassic 5</a> and maintaining a pace of guest appearances that would weary <a href="/artist/talib-kweli/280909">Talib Kweli</a>, the Chicago-based baritone <a href="/artist/chali-2na/386360">Chali 2na</a> has done his share of small-group projects in recent years. So it makes sense that his long-in-the-works solo debut is filled with big-shot guest stars and producers. "Fish Outta Water" may lack the demographic-tripping vibe that even a Jurassic 5 in turmoil could whip up, but it's a mostly winning debut that makes up in vocal prowess for what it lacks in hooks. "So Crazy" has a great late-night vibe, while "Lock Shit Down" kills with a Kweli guest spot. The Scott Storch-produced "Love's Gonna Getcha" is a melodic score, and the old-school "Comin' Thru" leaps off the disc thanks to production by Jurassic 5's DJ Nu-Mark.</p>