Chali 2na gets around. The original member of groups Jurassic 5 and Ozomatli has lent his robust vocal presence to dozens of other artists' projects, from Linkin Park to Talib Kweli. This propensity to share the mic is on full display with his latest mixtape, Fish Market Part 2, a buffet-style serving of 2na's collaborations.
The artists that join 2na on this outing will be relatively unknown to most, but they hold their own in the presence of 2na's formidable talent and reputation. The music's strength often lies in its substantial contributions from female emcees, such as Tanya Stephens' reggae delivery on "No Bad Mon." Others, like his collaboration with successful dubstep producer Rusko on "Go Go Gadget" falls short of awe-inspiring, though his rich vocals mirror the bass-heavy style so well that he almost pulls it off.
While some of the tracks suffer from unimaginative beats, others treat the listener to creative samples of horns, flute, string sections and an old Yardbirds refrain put to anthemic use in "4 the Luv." Aside from a handful of uninspiring skits and fleeting, undeveloped musical interludes, hip hop's most well-known baritone has delivered another collection of heavy hitters.
Chali 2na plays the Top Hat Tuesday, Feb. 15, at 10 PM with Karl Denson's Tiny Universe. $25/$22 advance at Ear Candy Music or online at seafarerentertainment.com