Ryan Dombal
September 15, 2006 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Routinely dismissed as a second-rate Nelly, this singsongy St. Louis MC does little to refute that charge on his third album. Though it’s split into a street-oriented ”Hood” side and club-friendly ”Star” side, the stylistic variations seem lost on Chingy, who stays in his lothario comfort zone throughout. The rapper’s witless rhymes on Hoodstar are briefly invigorated by rumbling beats from Three 6 Mafia (”Club Gettin’ Crowded”) and Timbaland (”Let Me Luv U”), but the best production can’t hide Hoodstar’s lack of imagination.

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