It always feels like a copout when artists make videos that leave nothing to the imagination - a direct illustration of the lyrics, what amounts to a round of charades in the age of CGI. But though the Chali 2na
video for "Lock Shit Down" is ostensibly the result of rapping into a virtual reality machine, and no block letters illustrating key chorus words will ever be able to top the typographical marvel of the Graffiti Research Labs video for Jay-Z's "Brooklyn We Go Hard," it's hard to hold that against him.
2na, a former Jurassic 5
member, raps harmlessly over a classic West Coast beat that tempts you to reach for your stunna shades and practice your best thizz face as you strut around your local arcade singing along to the hip hop equivalent of the Staples "that was easy" button. No other rapper could get away with a line like "sit back and just watch us bubble," but then again, no other rapper thought to name himself after a cartoon StarKist tuna mascot. It's all in good fun. Similarly entertaining tracks are sure to follow off 2na's solo release, Fish Outta Water
. Plus, Talib Kweli
is on this track, which would add instant cred (if the Jurassic 5 connect didn't already). Hook, line, and sinker. -Nina Mashurova
Charles Stewart (born in Chicago, Illinois), better known as Chali 2na is an American rapper and hip hop artist, formerly associated with the groups Jurassic 5 and Ozomatli.