Nu Reviews 4-25


By Joe Walker 
The New Citizens Press
Being a successful battle rapper from the underground scene of Houston, Texas, the young wordsmith dealt with a lot of criticism before reaching his current career status.
     “I had to deal with a lot of nay-sayers,” Chamillionaire said. “I’ve been a success at doing things my way for so long, I don’t see how people could doubt me.”
     Chamillioaire recorded numerous mix-tapes of his own while making appearances with such high profile mix-tape DJs as DJ Whoo Kid, Ron C, DJ Dub of Certified Hood Radio (WQHH 96.5 FM) and DJ Babe of Detroit. In the south, Chamillionaire said he sold 150,000 units. 
      “I would say that I’m one of the biggest mix-tape movers down here,” Chamillionaire said.
     “I’m a Texas representer,” Chamillionaire stated proudly. “I’m going to bring a different side of Houston to the table. People are getting tired of hearing the same ole music. I’m getting tired of hearing the same music. I will bring that difference.”
     Now Chamillionaire is signed to Universal, releasing his first major label album, “The Sound Of Revenge.”
      “Universal listened to me; my dreams, my goals,” Chamillionaire said. “I felt like Universal was the best label for me to control my own destiny. With them, I have the control I wanted.”
      Chamillionaire’s creative control helped him land a spot on two high profile soundtracks for video game goliath, EA Sports. The rapper’s music appears on both Madden 2006 and NBA Live 2006.”
     “I made a believer out of everybody who was behind the scenes helping me to expand my playing field,” Chamillionaire said. “They really looked out for my best interest.”
     Chamillionaire’s first taste of the majors came through fellow Houston native, Lil Flip. The pair recorded “U See It,” a song featured on Lil Flip’s platinum-selling major label debut album, “Underground Legend.”
     “Lil Flip really looked out for me a few years back when I was an underground MC,” Chamillionaire said.
      Now the rappers have teamed up again for Chamillionaire’s first single, “Turn It Up.”
      “I feel like it has all come full circle with Flip being featured on my first single,” Chamillionaire said. “It’s all love.
      “They say that success is the best revenge,” Chamillionaire continued.  “So the title of my album fits perfectly.
Talib Kweli
Right About Now
     Talib Kweli switched record labels, but his tight flow remained. On this, his first KOCH release, Kweli brings more rapid-fire flow and socially fueled content many have grown to love. On “Drugs, Basketball & Rap,” Kweli talks about three, most noted professions in his community, educating through rhyme that there is much more available. He teams with his BlackStar group-mate, Mos Def, for the chopping “Supreme Supreme,” getting super lyrical solo on the head-bopping “Who Got It.” Kweli still gets too wordy at times, still attacks production that should be relaxed encounters.
Lindsay Lohan
A Little More Personal (Raw)
     On her previous album, Lindsay Lohan danced with dirty pop and post-teen issues, attempting to make her music rock from sand. On this, her second album, Lohan gets more personal, edgy and rock-like.
     She confronts many personal demons here, from her problems with her father (“Confessions of a Broken Heart”) to problems with herself (“Who Loves You”). She does decent jobs of conveying her feelings through music. The production mostly reflects her mood, but mashing tracks that appear to bully are nothing more than pushovers for pop-radio acceptance.
     Lohan does not have a great singing voice, she strains and struggles on the simplest of notes. Guitar-heavy background music and calamity drum beats tends to band-aid some of her tares.
Lil Wayne
Tha Carter II
     On his previous album, Lil Wayne stepped away from the stereotypical image of a southern rapper. He stepped away from bounce music and stepped up as a lyrical bouncer. His matured flow let nothing through and everything out. This continues here on the follow-up. “Money In Mind” is dark and dramatic, bringing halogen light to dark-alley demeanor. Wayne snaps with crazy tongue-lashings on “Grown Man,” making god use of the beat like a seasoned MC should. He still settles at times, not fully taking a track to the limit. But overall, Wayne’s growth has produced another album worth one’s attention.
Ev’rybody Know Me
Once thought to be a one-hit-wonder, Youngbloodz continue to surprise hip-hop fans and critics alike. In the vein of Outkast, this Atlanta-based duo makes subtle changes every outing, keeping their sound fresh and new. On this, their third album, Sean Paul and J-Bo get a little more lyrical, a little bluesier. The sound of the south and cross-coastal essence of hip-hop flows perfectly through them as they bounce, rock and ride on tracks like “Presidential,” “Diamond Rings” featuring Daz and “It’s Good” featuring T-Boz of TLC.
Mail press and album review material to – Joe Walker, PO Box 1375, E.Lansing, MI 48826.