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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Sunday, August 25, 2002

Sudden Rush's latest CD smooth blend of now, then

By Wayne Harada
Advertiser Entertainment Editor

The summer biggie is out, providing a smooth blend of rap and traditional Hawaiian. It may be like putting chili-pepper water in your poi, but Sudden Rush has a fresh staple with sizzle that won't quit.


• Artist: Sudden Rush (Shane "Da Wattaman" Veincent; Rob "The Radical One" Onekea; Caleb "Da Reddeye" Richards; Don Ke'ala "Da Rappa Nui" Kawa-'auhau Jr.).

• Label: Quiet Storm Records QS 1014.

• Genre: Contemporary Hawaiian, world, urban.

• Distinguishing notes: The Rush is on, with a splendid, in-your-face, on-the-edge outing by this island combo that blends hip-hop with traditional Hawaiian. On past CDs, Sudden Rush has ingeniously melded rap with Hawaiian lyrics and melodies, and this one expands horizons. The title tune defines the foursome's style, politics and creed — a chant-style rap that sets them apart from others. The guest star quotient is high and mighty, with seamless marriages of old/new (Gabby Pahinui's "Hi'ilawe" typifies the bold m.o., with the late star's son Martin doing background vocals) and sets with Willie K, Amy Hanaiali'i Gilliom, Jon Osorio, Fiji, Natural Vibrations and Ho'onu'a. And wow, what a cool tribute to Bruddah Iz and a legion of other late local faves on "Can You See Me Now."

• The outlook: Sudden Rush is the bridge between old-style and here-now musicianship.

• Our take: A pioneering group offering riches to spare — a lot to savor, a lot to cheer.

"Hi'ilawe" by Sudden Rush. Audio sample available in mp3 and RealAudio formats.

• • •

"Storming Over the Islands"

• Artist: Hot Rain (Zack Kaliko Jr., Mark "Maka" Tolentino, Chad Guerrero, Carl K. Noa, Saulo "Laga" Savea).

• Label: Onipa'a Records ORCD 005.

• Genre: Jawaiian, contemporary Hawaiian.

• Distinguishing notes: Party-spirit music, seasoned with prevailing Jawaiian motifs (exemplified by "So Pure") make Hot Rain drizzle with audience appeal. Nostalgia ("Manapua Man"), romance ("Go So Crazy") and reflection ("I Wanna Tell You") prevail. And who'd have thought that the Frankie Avalon goldie, "Venus," could be interpreted with a reggae undercurrent?

• The outlook: Geared for island rhythm radio formats, so the sounds are formulaic.

• Our take: With exposure and luck, could emerge as a local fave.

"So Pure" by Hot Rain. Audio sample available in mp3 and RealAudio formats.