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Hurricane Chris 51/50 Ratchet Review

Album. Released 2008.  

BBC Review

Hurricane Chris needs to spend some time at the Soulja Boy school of addictive catchiness

Sophie Bruce 2008

Hurricane Chris' record company are trumpeting their 18-year-old protégé as the leader of the new 'Ratchet' movement, which they claim is ''set to take over the world in the same way as Crunk did''. Though this debut album has style, some good songs and plenty of Louisiana swagger, it's safe to say Ratchet won't be changing the world any time soon.

Fittingly for an album whose title means 101% real, there are plenty of cultural references to Hurricane Chris' teenage life. Mostly, he seems to spend his time in the club, driving around town, romancing ladies or counting his money – though he does manage to spare enough time to ''thank his momma for making him'', as incongruous as the sentiment seems amongst the other more vocally aggressive tracks.

His biggest potential hit is album-opener, Getting Money, which benefits from an appearance by the fabulous Nicole Wray. Wray does Chris a favour with a rare injection of some vocal sunshine into this generally rap-heavy disc. The other stand out track is A Bay Bay. With a catchy baby-voiced chorus and Lady Sovereign-style melody, it's easy to see why it is already a big hit in the States – with big names like The Game and Jadakiss queuing up to feature on the remix.

There are some other strong songs - Doin' My Thang is reminiscent of early 90s Snoop Dogg, while New Fashion has a brilliantly original Indian snake charmer hook. But those apart, it is often hard to see past the same old same old… another barely out of nappies teenager rapping about how he'll shoot you down if you cross him.

The promise of a debut which shares executive producers with Bubba Sparxxx and Soulja Boy ultimately fails to deliver. While Getting Money deserves to be one of the R'n'B hits of the Autumn, everything else falls a little bit flat alongside it. Hurricane Chris needs to spend some time at the Soulja Boy school of addictive catchiness and come back when he's matured enough to have found his own real flavour.

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