While Chi-Ali isn't completely lacking in talent, his youth certainly shows. The contrast between his still boyishly high voice and his rhymes about drinking, sexing up girls, and gun toting is sometimes unnerving, but more often it's just absurd. Chi-Ali makes his case on "Age Ain't Nothin' But a #" when he states that he has no time for younger women (13-year-olds); he wants an older woman (a 17-year-old). Unfortunately, Chi-Ali, with his high voice and at times uneven flow, just can't carry an entire album. Tellingly, on the best song here, "Let the Horns Blow," Chi-Ali is shunted aside by guest rappers and fellow Native Tongues, Dres (Black Sheep), Phife (A Tribe Called Quest), and Dove (De La Soul). He's a boy among men. The album's only saving grace is the hot, sample-crazy production from the Beatnuts. The Queens duo make The Fabulous Chi-Ali bearable but of little interest except perhaps to Native Tongue completists.
The Fabulous Chi-Ali Review
by Chris Witt