Hoodstar [Bonus CD]

by: Chingy

Only two singles came from Chingy's second album, 2004's Powerballin', neither of which matched the successes or strengths of Jackpot's "Right Thurr" and "One Call Away." Hoodstar only makes it all the more apparent that the St. Louis MC's overnight popularity was like lightning in a bottle. Like a number of rap albums from the distant and recent past (Cassidy's Split Personality, for instance), Hoodstar is broken into sections with themes, but the themes in this case -- the "hood" side and the "star" side -- aren't all that distinct. The hood side has songs titled "Hands Up" and "Nike Aurr's & Crispy Tee's," while the star side has songs titled "Ass N da Aurr" and "Brand New Kicks," so we're not exactly dealing with a modern-day Death Certificate. Once again, Chingy does his best to balance his softer side (which he still does best, as in the Tyrese feature "Pullin' Me Back") with unconvincing menace (as in "Club Gettin' Crowded," where the presence of Three 6 Mafia only makes him seem all the more out of his league). The club tracks fall flat and pale in comparison to "Right Thurr." Timbaland, Jermaine Dupri, Mr. Collipark, Mannie Fresh, Kwamé, and longtime collaborators Trak Starz make for an impressive lineup of producers, but it's obvious that few of them gave Chingy the first, second, or even third pick of their beats. [A clean version of the album was also released.] ~ Andy Kellman

Please enable Javascript to view this page competely.