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And he’s back for another round. Emcee Chali 2na has always stolen the show with a unique combination of charisma, stage presence and of course distinct voice. As a member of Jurrasic 5, Chali always had listeners waiting for his verses and clamoring for his solo debut. However, Chali’s 2009 debut; Fish Outta Water, was more decent than classic and came off as somewhat of a disappointment. This Fish Market 2, is an obvious sequel to 2004′s Fish Market mixtape. Mixed by DJ Dez Andres, Fish Market 2 is a straight-up mixtape,complete with drops, skits and of course the trademark 2na flow.

Lyrically, Chali does not break any new ground. But on the strength of pure listening pleasure, he gets on his job. A major strength of Fish Market 2 is in it’s ability to just bang. The beats put forth on the release all bring energy. The first two tracks “Fintro” and “FM2 Theme” are both welcome introductions which get the listener rockin’ from the jump. Other early tracks of note, include “No Bad Mon” feat. Tanya Stephens and the dope lead single;”Step Yo Game Up”.

The standout track, though,comes at about midway point of Fish Market 2, with “Across The Map”.This track finds 2na teaming with the always ill J-Live,who steals the show and makes you wonder why he’s so under-appreciated.J drops the line: “They say that my music don’t appeal to my people, despite when I write that be  who I’m tryin to speak to” and continues with a verbal onslaught,slamming those that feel that his kind of hiphop isn’t made for the mainstream.The collaboration is flat out dope and paints a picture with a dope beat under.While not standouts,the tracks “Hood Report”, “Focused Up” , “4 The Love”, “Time Is Now”,”Save The People” and the smoke anthem “Wheels On the World” all provide satisfaction.

The few disappointing tracks on Fish Market 2 stand out. First is the flat out terrible “Gadget Go Go”, which really deserves little explanation. The true disappointment comes in the collaboration with Planet Asia “On The Low”. While the potential for the track brings excitement, the execution falls short and leaves the listener thoroughly scratching their head.

Overall, Fish Market 2 comes together as a dope, energetic mixtape. While not a front to back spinner,it contains a bevy of strong and dope tracks. Fish Market 2 is a nice summer mixtape with energy that allows it to be left in rotation at a BBQ or as something to bump in the ride at 5pm on a Friday. So do yourself a favor and check out the fresh cuts at the Fish Market.

  Mixtape D.L.
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