What’s good my Bird City residents!? It’s your main man, Bo, and we’re back with another fire joint here to wrap up the summer. Sorry to take a week off on you, but I’m back and this week’s vibe is presented by Alaska transplant, Chalease, and her 90’s throwback, “Block Party” featuring Fuego Bentley & Sydni Madison.
Block party is a very intriguing song for several reasons. Chalease’s flow and delivery are eerily reminiscent of Lisa “Left Eye” Lopez, and the songs content is a throwback to the 90’s even mentioning TLC in her verse. The harmony on the song between Chalease and Sydni Madison play very well together, and one of the high points of the song is the chorus.
The crew on “Block Party” really do a great job capturing the vibe of the 90’s. The video mirrors the song’s content well, as Chalease recounts the glory days of artists like Diddy, Biggie, Outkast, Mase, Jay-Z, TLC, J.Lo, and others. Chalease separates herself with a vocal range that differs from her look, making her a surprise if you watch her videos after hearing her songs. Chalease gives you 90’s nostalgia with lines like “La-di-da-di/ we like to party/ people passing out on the lawn get the sharpie/”. She also shows some lyrical dexterity early in the song rapping, “fellas/bring your fly ass whip/ cause the fine ass whip bring them fine ass kicks/ and them fine ass kicks bring they fine ass clique/ and they fine ass clique with some fine ass shhhhh/”.
Chealease really hones in on the throwback vibe bringing on Fuego Bentley, who delivers on the theme with bars like, “ VHS, KRS on the ones/ fresh to death, rest in peace to Big Pun/ show you how it’s done/”, and “naughty by nature/ young fuego just bring the flava/ got a bottle of this liquor unwrapping like now or laters/”. The vibe and concept of the song is more original than most contemporary hip-hip songs, and I loved hearing all the throwback references. On the flip-side , however, throughout the entirety of the song, the vocal performances could’ve been stronger. The beat overpowers the rappers a little bit, and there wasn’t much wordplay to keep you locked in..
“Block Party” probably won’t have much replay value for anyone who didn’t grow up in the 90’s. The bars and storytelling are geared to people who can actually understand a time before social media. While I personally really enjoy this sentiment, it is not as relevant for the modern hip hop pallet and the song suffers a little bit because of it. The song isn’t as simple as current hip hop, but also not as lyrically complex as songs written in that time. Overall, “Block Party” is a fun listen that brings back a time where people were more connected and actually had fun on the block. “Block Party” is going to collect a 7 out of 10 this week for the nostalgia, but could’ve hit harder with memorable rhymes and a more balanced mix. That’s all for this week, Bird City! More to come next week! Peace and love, your boy, Bo.