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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Sunday, March 2, 2003

Sassy club beats carry hip-hop compilation

By Wayne Harada
Advertiser Entertainment Writer

Urban, hip-hop sounds for the party crowd, a collection of inspirational Christian tunes, classic local-style comedy and Island rhythms with a Samoan twist await CD cruisers this week.

• • •

"Project 808" by various artists (Oceanbeat Records).
  • Genre: Hip-hop, new music, rap.
  • Distinguishing notes: The Allknighters created and produced all 17 tracks here; this hot compilation serves as a launching pad for future trail-blazers. A host of acts, plugged into the urban sounds that are the vogue, get support from some already established performers such as Fiji, Forté, AZ, B.E.T. and Oshen. Multiple acts join forces on most cuts; thus Shella, Onique, Lil Blaze One and Mykelob whisk through "Party Allknight (the 50th State)"; Aiga, Fiji, Cliff and Glisten strut through "Too Many"; Riccy Boy and Kimo James share leads on "Make U Mine"; Prophit, Bladez and Aziel find harmony on "U Don't Understand Me." In all, there 17 cuts, each with high dancefloor appeal, some with groovy deejay scratches. Fiji solos and shows how it's done on "Irresistable Woman," which is one of his most tuneful, lush efforts.
  • The outlook: A lot of sass — despite recurring, even repetitive tempos — to please any club-goer.
  • Our take: A sizzling party CD, with vibes and viability to groove through the wee hours.

"Party Allknight (the 50th State)" by Shella, Onique, Lil Blaze One and Mykelob. Audio sample available in mp3 and RealAudio formats.

• • •

"Journal" by Trisha Nakamoto (New Hope Pearl Community).
  • Genre: Christian music.
  • Distinguishing notes: Trisha Nakamoto's CD is loaded with personal views that certainly speak a special language of hope, peace, solace, joy and occasional sorrow. She composed eight of the 10 cuts; it's great to hear her sing words that clearly come from the heart. Good vibes: "If I'd Only Look to You," "Choose Me," "All I Have."
  • The outlook: A biggie in religious circles; her hushed, sweet sound is relaxing.
  • Our take: Not for everyone, but Nakamoto's spirit of everlasting faith and love is hard to ignore.

"If I'd Only Look to You" by Trisha Nakamoto. Audio sample available in mp3 and RealAudio formats.

• • •

"A Taste of Malasadas" by Frank DeLima (Hula Records).
  • Genre: Comedy, musical satires.
  • Distinguishing notes: This is Frank DeLima's breakthrough album, circa 1978, which shows how far back he goes and how long he's been doing some material. Manuel and Joaquin, two of his Portuguese-joke targets today, found their origins here; so did the "Portagee Fight Song" and "KOHO Radio." Recorded live at The Noodle Shop (long gone), the original back-up crew consisted of Chuck Tilton on vocals and guitar and Dean Lum on bass and banjo, and no, the Na Kolohe group name was not in use. "Filipino Fiesta" was launched here, too, along with his inimitable manner in replicating the Filipino tongue.
  • The outlook: Everything old is new again; this is the first time "Malasadas" (originally on vinyl) is available on CD.
  • Our take: Frankly, this could be a complement to DeLima's retrospective "Noodle Shop Days" live shows weekends at the Ohana Reef Towers' Palace Showroom.

"Portagee Fight Song" by Frank DeLima. Audio sample available in mp3 and RealAudio formats.

• • •

"Home" by Sole Bruddahs (Sole Records).
  • Genre: Island rhythms, Samoan tunes.
  • Distinguishing notes: The Sole Bruddahs are Maula King and Ferdinand Cabug, who are based in Riverside, Calif. This collection of songs, some dating back to the early '90s, reflect their memories and adoration of Island living, family, and food. Their harmonies are folksy in mood, typified by such tracks as "Take Me Back," "You Don't Know" and "Teine Samoa."
  • The outlook: The Sole (an affectionate term of "Samoan") population would probably embrace this duo.
  • Our take: Say talofa to the Sole Bruddahs.

"Take Me Back" by Sole Bruddahs. Audio sample available in mp3 and RealAudio formats.

• • •

" 'Ina'i Elua" by 'Aha Punana Leo ('Aha Pu-nana Leo).
  • Genre: Traditional Hawaiian.
  • Distinguishing notes: The folks at Punana Leo have immersed heart and soul into this second collection that upholds and nurtures the Hawaiian-language tradition, with cherished songs that are both instructive and entertaining. Liner notes provide valuable lyrics and English footnotes.
  • The outlook: More an academic than a commercial entity, this CD is one way to perpetuate and preserve the Hawaiian language.
  • Our take: 'Olelo at its best.

"Ke Kino'o A Me Ke Kino'a" by 'Aha Punana Leo. Audio sample available in mp3 and RealAudio formats.

Reach Wayne Harada at wharada@honoluluadvertiser.com.