There are pretty much two things I look for in rap music: It should make you feel like you rule the world (or want to smash it apart), or it should have some kind of emotional depth. Ideally, it should do both.
DC area rapper Chaz French has a pretty rough-and-tumble story—at one point he was homeless—and he doesn't shy away from it. But he also sounds fucking sweet, coasting on the slightest of distinctive croaks and a whole lot of enthusiasm. Stylistically, Chaz is pretty much a synthesis of post-2010 rap—think Drake, Kevin Gates, Meek Mill, and Travi$ Scott rolled into one—but he's managed to take the good parts, striking the right balance of shit-talking and openness. There's still plenty of room for him to dive deeper into his past, but, as far as introductions go, "Came Down," the video Noisey is premiering below, is the type of explosive way to start things out, with snarling lines like "Ohh I'm a motherfucking rebel/Heavy metal/Make it look like I ain't ever been homeless in my life" and a restlessly varied delivery (pay attention to the quick succession of vocal styles at around 2:38).
Chaz has been building a little buzz locally with gigs at DC's Broccoli City festival and opening for Waka Flocka Flame at the Howard Theater. His mixtape Happy Belated is on the way soon. Check out "Came Down," with its video directed by frequent TDE collaborator Jerome D, below and let Chaz win you over.