Friday, May 8, 2009

Demo Week, Day 1.5: Chino XL

Ok, this is being billed as "Day 1.5" because it's a bit of an underwhelming entry. I almost didn't bother writing but, but I thought, what the heck. It should at least be of some nominal interest to the hardcore fans.

What we have here is a 3-song demo Dan Charnas sent me in advance of what would... eventually lead up to Chino XL's I Told You So album. I think I got this in '99 and the album came out in '01, so it was a long time before any of these tracks got heard by the public, but eventually they... mostly did.

Before I get to that, though; let me get the easy stuff out of the way. The other two songs on this tape, "Nunca" and "Chianardo Di Caprio" are the same as what wound up on the album, right down to the excruciating skit about Chino being visited by an angel in traffic. So nothing new there. These are "ruff" mixes, but there's no significant differences.

But the third song, "Papi," is essentially unreleased. I say "essentially," because he did eventually put it on his 2006 mixtape, The Definition of MC; but of course there it's marred with your typical radio blends and vocal tags being dropped over the song. So, it's kinda been released; but it's never been properly released.

It's a nice track, with a funky guitar picking sample and hard drums. Chino's delivery is nice, too; but the gimmick of his first verse, where he name-drops every Latino pop culture celebrity wears thin right at the first line, where he says he's, "in a kayak with Selma Hayak and Jennifer Lopez." He describes himself as "that lyrical Antonio Banderas," "pounding niggas like John Leguizamo" and so on. It gets better when he gets past that, but his need to turn everything into a cheesy punchline still weighs him down. But hey, the beat is really cool and his flow is engaging... it's better than a lot of Chino songs.

So, yeah. Pretty underwhelming. And that's why this is just "1.5." Look for Day 2 later tonight. :)

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