Hurricane Chris: 51/50 Ratchet

Hurricane Chris’ performance on 51/50 Ratchet (Pologrounds/J Records) is like Rex Grossman on the 2006 Chicago Bears—he’s the only thing holding the team back from winning the championship. The Shreveport, Louisiana native shows some potential on his debut but he’s overshadowed by standout production.  Chris’ rudimentary lyrics and recycled song topics show a narrow view of life experiences curtailing him from truly opening up to his fans.  51/50 Ratchet succeeds with beats provided by producers such as the Ying Yang Twins hit maker Mr. Collipark and the underrated Phunk Dawg.  For evidence look no further than the jazzy horns and subtle snap heard on the slow jam “Touch Me”.   Hurricane Chris is at his best when he’s getting the party started with “Hand Clap,” which features a stellar beat with its fast pace and energetic feel.  Additionally the loud 808s heard on “Walk Like That” will definitely have club goers bouncing.   Unfortunately the “A Bay Bay” chorus is as catchy as remembering where you were the day Allen Iverson said, “We’re talking about practice.”  Middle-aged parents living in Iowa may never know who Hurricane Chris is but they’ll remember “A Bay Bay” because they heard their children screaming and clapping to it a thousand times. Unlike Jay-Z, Hurricane Chris couldn’t consider retiring as a rap legend after his debut effort because even after someone drunk himself into a stupor they’d still agree that it’s not the most well-rounded album.  While it’s not a crime to leave a woman, the lack of depth with which Hurricane Chris explains this issue on “Leaving You” leaves fans much to the imagination.  Furthermore Rap is an art form that thrives on storytelling and when he rhymes, “My pedal to the medal/While I’m thinking bout all of my dawgs I lost in the street tryin’ to ball like me,” he’s merely copying & pasting what ten other rappers previously said.If 51/50 Ratchet was heroin it would be Frank Lucas’ Blue Magic that Nicky Barnes cut up a thousand more times—still good but not 100% pure.  Until Hurricane Chris delivers more original lyrics, he’ll just be a good pretender but not quite the real thing.  SOUNDCHECK:  

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