There’s still time to nominate local icons for Best of D.C.
Chaz French’s music is drenched with blood, sweat, and tears. The rapper throws himself head first into his musical projects, and the passion was evident on his 2014 mixtape, Happy Belated. French infused his debut project with infectious intensity, from the emotional laundry list of complaints of “Came Down” to the naked honesty of “Watcha Know,” and quickly gathered national attention. French’s style—the impassioned sermon of a preacher who’s living with demons—is rooted in the D.C.-based artist’s influences. The sway of gospel music is obvious, but the bounce of traditional southern hip-hop is also present. His explosive, free-form style even nods at the abstract graffiti artist Jean-Michel Basquiat. Whatever his motivation, the combination makes French an energetic live performer—a talent he’ll flex during his night at U Street Music Hall. In just a year, French’s zeal has helped him make major strides in the industry. It’s only fitting that he finish his victory lap in the same place it began. Chaz French performs with Kelow, Jay IDK, and Mista Selecta at 7 p.m. at U Street Music Hall, 1115 U St. NW. $15. (202) 588-1889. ustreetmusichall.com.