Artist: ChingyTitle: HoodstarRating: 3 StarsReviewed by: Jesse Fairfax

Upon scoring their first hit song, every rapper hopes their success

isn't a flash in the pan. 2003's "Right Thurr" was monstrous for

Chingy, catapulting him to superstardom as he rode in on the crest of

the industry's St. Louis wave. After defecting from Ludacris'

Disturbing Tha Peace crew, public interest seemed to wane with 2004's

Powerballin' doing much smaller numbers than his Jackpot debut.

Chingy's latest album Hoodstar (Capitol) finds hope springing

eternally, as he is out to prove that his relevance and star power

haven't faded.

Topically Chingy isn't dissimilar from most of today's Hip-Hop

climate, as he doesn't stray far from discussing a lifestyle full of

violence, balling, and womanizing. The difference is he doesn't

execute it nearly as well as some of his more skilled peers. He either

lacks inspiration or is just plain lazy, with one song about "Nike

Aurrs and Crispy Tees" and another titled "Brand New Kicks" (the

saving grace of the latter being Mannie Fresh's trademark bounce and

voice). It's not that the music is particularly bad, it just makes for

boring listening accompanied by his gall to look down upon other

rappers whom he feels aren't on his level.

The album largely caters to women, only switching between the intended

settings of the bedroom and club. "Bounce That" sounds like a parody

of a BET Uncut video rather than a serious song on an album

distributed by a major label, while the lead single "Pullin' Me Back"

features Tyrese and breaks down relationship problems. "Dem Jeans" is

about females fitting their posteriors into denim, and "U A Freak

(Nasty Girl)" is self-explanatory, as is "Ass N Da Aurr." By the

second to last track "Let Me Luv U", one is left questioning his

ability to come up with material he hasn't already covered on this


Hoodstar is sprinkled with its bright moments, such as the crunk "Club

Getting Crowded" featuring Three 6 Mafia who seem right at home, while

Chingy sounds out of place trying out a faster flow. The

aforementioned "Brand New Kicks" is a gem, and he somewhat succeeds at

introspection on "Cadillac Door", with Midwest City doing his best

Sleepy Brown impression. Perhaps Chingy isn't out to be progressive

and is satisfied making music that requires little thought to enjoy,

but the credibility that he will be extended is ultimately up to his