Chain Reaction

Cuban Link

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Chain Reaction Review

by Evan C. Gutierrez

Dark and serious as storm clouds, Chain Reaction rolls across the otherwise blue, frivolous skies of Latino hip-hop and reggaeton. Cuban Link emerges as a more mature, authoritative voice than both his counterpoints in the genre and himself on previous releases. The subject matter is threatening and dangerous, without the adolescent quality so often associated with hip-hoppers' posturing. Link's low-rumbling voice trips a visceral reaction like a lion's rolling growl. His lyricism is deft and poetic, while avoiding any "easy way out" cleverness. The aim seems to be maintaining intimidation at all times, which he does quite successfully. Even when the subject material is sexual in nature, the sense of inner fire is never once sacrificed. Ken Lewis' production has the hypnotic, sparse quality of uncompromising, uncut hip-hop. Featured artists like Don Omar and Jadakiss don't lend credibility, but instead hint at Link's future. With Chain Reaction, Cuban Link steps into his own -- no longer a former member of Fat Joe's crew, Terror Squad, but a voice strong and real enough to make it all on his own.

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