Let me just say- right up front- that I am not at all a fan of Hurricane Chris. I will also say though, that he seems to have plenty of them, judging by the success of his 2007 debut- 51/50 Ratchet, which spawned the hit single “A Bay Bay”. The 20 year-old Shreveport, LA rapper recently released his sophomore CD- Unleashed (released December 21 on Polo Grounds Music / J Records/Go Live Entertainment).
Unleashed is an…interesting assortment of songs that should appeal to the same folks that file onto club dance floors around the country to shake their drunken tail-feathers whenever “Halle Berry (She’s Fine)” manages to make it into the rotation.
And since we’re talking about the rapper’s most notorious song to date, I suppose it would only be fair to mention the fact that the inspiration for the song, the Oscar winning actress herself, spent some time dancing to the joint on the Ellen DeGeneres show earlier this year. And that- good people, is where Unleashed runs out of steam.
Although the production is above average for this genre of rap, the formulaic use of some of the wackest lyrics I’ve heard in a minute deflate most of the songs before they can even get off the ground. A notable exception is “Headboard”. Produced by The Inkredibles and featuring Mario and Plies. It’s the one song that actually managed to hold my attention, although the lyrics are so naughty, radio play is probably not much of an option.
“Secret Lover” featuring R&B group Cherish, has a nice, easy flow that makes it enjoyable. Until, that is, you actually listen to the words. “You don’t have to worry baby- I don’t mind you making me your/secret lover/you don’t have to take me out in public baby/just hold it down and we can keep this undercover…” I guess self-respect is not a requirement to kick it with Hurricane Chris. Equally disappointing is “Hot like Lava”, produced by Raphael for RJ2. What can you really say about a song that contains the line: “I got more money than babies got boogers in they nose…” Huh? “Coke Bottle” is also a head scratcher. “She got that Coke bottle/girl I promise you the next model…” Really? Well as long as you promise…
Honestly speaking, there are those who will say this is a good album, and the thing about it is, depending on where you are, who you’re listening with and how much liquor is involved- they may be right. There are some catchy beats, some fun (if not too clever) rhymes, and it’s no more offensive than anything else that’s out right now.
With guest appearances from Mario, Plies, Cherish, Beenie Man and Bobby V., it’s not like there was no effort made. The problem is that it falls just a little short of the mark. Unless, of course, you ask Halle Berry, who may just say she likes it….at least a little bit.