July 29, 2017

Chi-Ali "Roadrunner (Q-Tip's Puberty Mix)" (12", 1992)

Chi-Ali The fabulous chi-ali native tongues advert 1992 hip hop nostalgia

The Fabulous Chi-Ali, Native Son of the Native Tongues. Yes, at the time of his release, he was 15-16 years old and the youngest member of the Native Tongues. Making early appearances with De La Soul & Black Sheep, he later released his first solo single in 1992 with 'Age Ain't Nothing But a #.' Ali had 2 follow-up singles with 'Roadrunner' and 'Funky Lemonade' found on his debut album with Relativity, 'The Fabulous Chi-Ali.' Production on the album was handled mostly by The Beatnuts & Mista Lawnge of Black Sheep, with features from Dres (Black Sheep), Trugoy (De La Soul), Fashion (The Beatnuts) & Phife Dawg (ATCQ). My favorite Chi-Ali track was a Q-Tip remix of 'Roadrunner' - ironically called the 'Puberty Mix' - which was not included on the album. The track was released on vinyl, CD and cassette with Chris Lighty & Violator added to the fold. Chi-Ali's career was cut short by a manslaughter charge, manhunt and eventual spot on America's Most Wanted - he was caught 14 months later and received a 12-year sentence. He served his years and I saw him down in Atlanta not long after his release. He's since put out a few singles, done a few features/remixes, but above all else, I'm sure he's just enjoying his freedom. Happy 25th anniversary to the 'The Fabulous Chi-Ali' album. It's out of print now, but you can certainly still find copies on Discogs. Listen to the 12"...