Chief Aleel – Gnarly VHS Tape [Album Review]


  1. Raising Pyramids (f. Josh Burrell)
  2. 7 Kids (f. Rocket)
  3. 27 White Lighters (f. Wes Blanco, Brice Blanco)
  4. 95 Heathen
  5. Gnarly
  6. NWA (f. Deebyrd, John Ibe)
  7. New Territory (f. Jay Knight, Josh Burrell)
  8. Karma/Good Weather
  9. Complexxx (Love Is a Drug)(f. Lorah Palmer, Brittany Cannon)
  10. True Friends
  11. Be Someone (Be Yourself)(f. Brittany Cannon, Oscar Santana)

First Impressions:

Texas’ very own Chief Aleel could not have dropped off his Gnarly VHS Tape at a better time, having fans such as myself wait almost a full year for its highly anticipated release – and honestly, it would be an understatement to say that it was well worth the wait. Upon hearing, you can already sense that an enormous amount of time was dedicated and put forth towards its ultimate creation, having a heavy replay value and songs for almost every mood.

Chief Aleel carefully demonstrates his ability to provide motivation with songs such as Raising Pyramids and Be Someone, which were damn near perfect ways to end and close the tape (also honorable mentions for The Rocketeers making some grand cameos on tracks). But the deep-voiced Houstonian tapped into his rugged side on 27 White Lighters and N.W.A., offering dope versatility with amazing bars like “..Feel like Jimi, Kurt Cobain, and Fat Pat put together” that truly show what makes him Chief Aleel. One thing I noticed is that his style is hard to put in a box since it is so expansive and Aleel continued his path toward striving for new sounds all throughout this tape.

Favorite Songs:

  • 95 Heathen: “Never picked on religion, so he went and made his own/that tends to happen when you kicked up out ya home”

For me, this was one of the most relatable tracks on the tape due to the fact that at some points I thought he was literally rapping about myself. It came off as a youth trying to find their way through the maze of life, but constantly dealing with roadblocks that they want no parts of and that “rebellion” drives them, in a way. Aside from the philosophical raps, this was one track where Aleel’s voice seemed to flow effortlessly for several seconds, producing some of the best bars I’ve heard from the LEZ GET IT rapper. As laid back as he appeared, it is hard to ignore just how real and hard hitting this song truly is.

  • Gnarly: “Big head, gotta blast/Do a buck 50 up on the dash”

Not sure if he intended to go in like he did on this joint, but damn Chief Aleel! Aptly named like the tape, Gnarly has less surf/wave intentions compared to coming directly in your face with blunt, fast raps. His voice just sounds superb coupled with this big sounding production, and properly brings out that mosh pit feel with each verse. This was more proof for me that Chief Aleel can really rap his ass off while still having listeners feel they can relate to his subject matter, which is not an easy thing to do in this day and age of music.

Conclusion: I feel as though Chief Aleel took a major step in his career with the release of this tape, for it showed the progression in not only sound, but influences, cadence and everything that he is capable of doing with rap at the moment. There was so much to be appreciated, from the stellar art cover to the calculated and important features on each song, Chief Aleel is truly something to marvel at in the game right now. For all new listeners, this was a proper introduction to the styling of the Rocketeer, and I think it is the type of tape that doesn’t pertain to one type of listeners, for anybody could bump this.

As well as spotify, you can find this outstanding album via soundcloud: as well as apple music for the itunes users: . Be sure to spread the word to everyone if you’re enjoying Chief Aleel’s music!






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