5 Questions with Rags #14 - Chali 2na

Chali 2na is a hip-hop renaissance man. His artistic output is constant and while it varies many platforms, the quality never does. When you see the 2na name attached to something you know it’s going to be honest, vital and full of passion…which is pretty much all you need from good art. With so many years in the game, the Verbal Herman Munster is a pillar of Hip-Hop culture. He has murals displayed all over the world, is a founding member of both Jurassic 5 and Ozomatli, and continues to release top-shelf hip-hop under his own moniker. Always a pleasure to talk to, full of laughs and insight, Chali was one of the reasons I started to truly love hip-hop nearly two-decades ago and I couldn’t be more stoked or feel more privileged to get some more time with the man. Enjoy our latest, and possibly greatest, chat. Props to the Verbal Dinosaur, Hip-Hop royalty, Chali 2na.


1. Do you remember the first album you bought with you own money?

Yep. It wasn’t an album, it was a single. It was called “Hey You” by the Rocksteady Crew. I bought it not because I liked the song, Crazy Legs and them might hate me right now, but I didn’t really like the song, but I’m a graffiti artist at heart and the cover of the album was drawn by one of the Rocksteady Crew members named Doze. Doze is helluva graffiti writer and he did characters of each member on the cover. I was in love with and I was like, “Damn, I wanna learn to draw things like that!” So I bought the album and that was the first purchase I made. I had to save up to get it. Then next one I got was “Renegades of Funk.” Once again I saw the cover before I heard the song and thought, “Oooh! This is amazing, I want this!” When I heard the song I was like, “Oh yeah, I’m really getting this on. This is crazy.”

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"Against the Current" or "Outta Water", 2na thrives.

Getting to talk to Chali 2na was and remains one of the high-points in my interviewing "career." This is one of the brothers who got me into Hip-Hop music through his work with Jurassic 5. I've seen him live many times and he never fails to come through. Still one of the bright lights in Hip-Hop, In the midst of his Against the Current​ project and the beginning of a J5 reunion run at Coachella last weekend, this seems like a good a time as any to get this conversation out into the world. Much love and respect to one of the masters, Chali 2na!​

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