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Showoff & St. Records Present Kali: Welcome To Hotel Kalifornia

I remember back when I was a baby in the ’80s my pops would have my uncles and his homies over on the weekends and they’d pound away bottles of Rum, Vodka and chase ‘em down with beers and cigarettes. While doing this and playing cards they’d play their homemade mixtapes laced with everything BUT hip-hop. One of my favorite songs that would constantly get played during those alcohol infused weekends was “Hotel California” by The Eagles. I didn’t really know what they were singing about, but the guitar strings and melodic hook had me at “Hotel.” I thought this song was lost to the hip-hop culture, but here we have this kid Kali out of Cali and it seems we have the same appreciation for that certain song though I’m sure for very different reasons.

More recently known for his Midnight Club: Los Angeles videogame gig (son did the theme song), Kali seems to pride himself on being a California lyricist who’s determined to continue the development of the New West. Son’s style and flow adapted well to the hard beat on “The Code,” the bouncy rhythm on “Rollin Down The Freeway” and the lighter themed “Cali Kali,” but in my opinion his lyricism left much to be desired.

Every rapper in the game done made a song about their love affair with Marijuana, so I wasn’t surprised to see Kali venture down the road more traveled than Amber Rose, but with lines like, “I’m so high/blood shot eyes/cranberry kush got me feeling so fly/I’m up in the sky/see me ride by/like a brand new jet, baby, we can take a ride/that weed smell good/let me get a dub/ I’ma smoke this in the back of the club/my Mercedes’ on dubs/all these ladies on drugs/all these ladies on me and I’m fucked up,” it’s evident that he’s just setting himself up to get lost in the shuffle.

His club attempts like “Have Some Fun” or “Get Focused” where he spit, “Miami on Monday/Tuesday in Tennessee/Wednesday I’m in DC sippin’ Hennessey/Thursday, Texas/Friday, New Orleans/Saturday I’m back on the beach up in OC/Sunday’s Spain, spend a week in France/next Monday I’ll start it all over again,” sounded as formulaic as you can get with it. Where’s the creativity? Where’s the originality?

I’ll say that I was a bit disappointed with Kali’s overall effort. I figured him being a fan of that one song would show some sort of appreciation for music and he’d push himself to be extra original and just different. Plus these Cali MCs have been coming out the woodworks with straight forest fires. But aside from the good choice of beats, versatile flow and style that allow him to rock on street bangers and club crawlers alike, the lyrics and rhymes aren’t anything that hasn’t been said to death already. With so many Cali MCs vying for a spot in the game, Kali has his work cut out for him. Unless he becomes more creative and original with his writing, he might have to use that check from Rock Star Games to take Hotel & Business Management classes.—The Infamous O

Hottest Joint: “The Code”

Weakest Joint: “Have Some Fun”

  • http://Pierzy11@gmail.com Pierzy

    What up Infamous?

    Ehhh, this dude isn’t doing much for me. Maybe he’ll turn me but I’m skeptical from the jump.

    • O

      What’s good, P?

      Yeah, Son’s style and flow were cool, but his content was limited as hell. If he doesn’t step it up, he’s gonna get lost in the Cali shuffle…

  • eddiesixes

    “as formulaic as you can get with it. Where’s the creativity? Where’s the originality?”

    “I’ll say that I was a bit disappointed with Kali’s overall effort.”

    but it’s still hood? well it is an xxl rating system hahaha…

    • O

      That was a mix up. It’s actually BAD.

  • http://ENCRYPTEDMusic.com ENCRYPTED

    My homie Kali went in on this mixtape!! No bias.. Kali is one of the realest i’ve heard in the west for upcoming emcees. Other artists I see are Nutragous and Jay Rock to name just a few. The “New West” is in full swing and Kali is on the forefront. With the backing of one of NYC’s best producer/DJ’s Shade45s “Statik Selektah” he has good support behind his skill.. I question these comments – I think for a free mixtape Kali killed it and introduced and exposed himself to alot of new people including myself!!! Wait for an album you all will eat your words im sure. Keep it real. 100.

  • http://Streetsteps.com Tribal

    Infamous, I think those alcohol infused childhhood days clouded your sense on what makes good Hip Hop. Your so inclined on straying away from formulaic rap yet fail to appreciate the fundamental elements of what makes this music touch millions. Mining for the perfect beat, timing and delivery, flow versatility, lyrical flair, and making a connection with listener underwrites this art form. Since you ask where the creativity and originality lies look towards the core. Kali’s core is intact, a gifted rapper that as you mentioned can catch the street bangers ear and make club crawlers climb walls after spitting a few lines; what more can you ask for? His montage to Marijuana has smokers huddled up lighting blunts every night and your rant on club song is a bit ridiculous aren’t those joints suppose to be free spirited and playful. Stick to your oldies Eagles my dude.

  • http://Streetsteps.com Tribal

    Infamous, I think those alcohol infused childhood days clouded your sense on what makes good Hip Hop. Your so inclined on straying away from formulaic rap you lose sight on the fundamental elements that make our genre touch millions. Mining for the perfect beat, timing and delivery, flow versatility, lyrical flair, and making a connection with listener underwrites this art form. Since you ask where the creativity and originality lies I’d say look towards the core. & Kali’s core is intact, he’s a gifted rapper that as you mentioned can catch the street bangers ear and make club crawlers climb walls after spitting a few lines; what more can you ask for? His montage to Marijuana has smokers huddled up lighting blunts on every street corner and your rant on his club tracks makes no sense …those joints are suppose to be free spirited and playful. Hotel Kalifornia is a well balanced mixtape that most hip hop heads can relate to, excluding perhaps boring Eagles boopers like you.

    • O

      He definitely chose good beats, and like i said, his style and flow is good enough that he can get on any track and do him, but I still stand by my statement that his lyrics and rhymes just aren’t taking it anywhere that hasn’t been visited already. That’s how I see it.

  • BeerGangsta

    What’s up West coast homies. I like how you go to different state everyday. That’s some BeerGangsta type of shit. West Coast parties are the best!

  • young raskal

    maaaan! if you aint heard of “tha jacka” you AINT from Cali!aint NO one heard of THIS dude homie!

  • http://www.myspace.com/sixmc 66

    Kali’s actually got a record with Tha Jacka on his new mixtape….his album is mostly produced by Statik as well, thats coming soon…shits fuego