Chali 2na is a big man. He has a big voice too, arguably one of the most iconic in transatlantic hip-hop. As a co-founder for legendary group Jurassic 5, most people would recognise 2na’s bass voice on tracks like Freedom or Thin Line.
He has however had a successful solo career. Releasing two mixtapes, two E.Ps and one solo album, Fish Outta Water, 2na is far more accomplished than just his Jurassic 5 legacy. Bear in mind the guy is 43, his latest E.P released this year, Against The Current EP.2 : Manphibian Music, is still as fresh and inventive as his noughties work.
He recently played Rock City in Nottingham. It was an intimate gig with 2na hanging out at the bar before and after the show. His performance was energetic and charismatic. He hyped the crowd frequently calling “Notting-Ham” in his chi-town accent, as well as break popping to tracks like Graff Time. There was a strong fraternity on stage as he performed with baby bro. The spirit of family was also played out in soulful tracks like Righteous Way and 4 Be Be – a lyrical elegy to 2na’s cousin who died in Chicago’s E2 nightclub stampede.
After the gig 2na tweeted:
“WE TAKE IT BACK LIKE ROBIN LOCKSLEY, ROCKIN FROM COUNTRYSIDE TO SPOTS WHERE HARD ROCKS BE….” GREAT SHOW LAST NIGHT AT ROCKCITY!! TONIGHT IS IN LONDON AT ROCKWELL HOUSE!! SEE YOU THERE! #NOTTINGHAMCASTLE #ROBINHOODSTATUE #OLDERTHANAMERICA #MANPHIBIANMUSICTOUR2014 #2NATOGRAPHY
Ever since St. Anne’s group Out Da Ville came together, Nottingham has had strong ties with hip-hop. Ten years later it’s good to see venues still supporting the genre and artists wanting to perform here.