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Chali's diverse tastes range from the blues he was raised on to the political gangsta' rap he loved, to the graffiti art he sprayed as a teenagerand they all flow from this album. A powerful and deeply personal body of work, Fish Outta Water is quite simply a life's worth of songs in the making. Boasting production from the likes of Jake One, Scott Storch, and Cut Chemist and collaborations with Damian Marley, Stephen Marley, Beenie Man, Anthony Hamilton, and Talib Kweli, the album feels like a new beginning of sorts for the artist who has successfully melded the bass-heavy bravado with his own life's story, and in doing so, creates art that's not only superb, it's important.
Chali, with his unmistakable, beloved baritone has firmly established himself as one of the most distinctive personalities, not just in hip-hop, but music in general. Only a select few can say they've rocked microphones in front of thousands at a sold-out arena in Tokyo with Jurassic 5, spit rhymes at Lollapalooza, appeared on two Van's Warped Tours and been backed by the Latin-tinged rock of Ozomatli. Chali recently appeared on Galactic's critically acclaimed release From The Corner To The Block and performed with the band for special sets at Bonnaroo and Jazz Fest.
Notorious for using his music as a platform to present social and political issues, Chali has established himself as an artist of substance. And like a true artist he doesn't allow himself to be pigeonholed into one genre or medium. He founded the activist salsa funk band Ozomatli, and even ventured into voiceover work which led him to a role in film playing the voice of Pup in the animated picture, Night Before Christmas.