Storm Warning: Think of Hurricane Chris as a lyrical giant in training.

Hurricane Chris’ mother was a rapper, and he’s been performing since he was eight or nine. Befitting this experience, Chris, now 20, is less concerned than many MCs with street credibility—concocting giant, crossover club songs is his focus. His first was “A Bay Bay,” an instantly addictive, runaway truck of a single off of his 2007 debut, 51/50 Ratchet. Named for Hollywood Bay Bay, a DJ from Chris’ hometown of Shreveport, La., the song doubled as the angel-faced, braids-wearing rapper’s calling card. The second was “Halle Berry (She’s Fine),” a slightly more produced, even more addictive rump-rotator highlighted by a huge, marching band-style hook. (You may have seen him rapping this ode to the Oscar-winning actress on the floor of the Louisiana House of Representatives in June. If not, the YouTube clip is a must-view.) Both hits are slightly sanitized versions of the Shreveport “ratchet” sound, which falls somewhere between snap and crunk and is powered by hand claps, stripped-down percussion, smiley synths, and soaring choruses. But unlike many gimmicky young rappers, Chris can actually spit. On Category 7: Bad Azz Hurricane, a mixtape from 2009 with Lil’ Boosie, he showed he could hang with that Bayou State goliath. Still, his recently released sophomore record, Unleashed,was delayed for months; perhaps execs feared it would underperform like Boosie’s latest, Superbad: The Return of Boosie Bad Azz. The problem with that album was its plethora of soporific “for the ladies” tracks; Unleashed, on the other hand,is a track-and-field event filled with quick, dirty stanzas. “Bend it over backwards then I hit her with that good jab,” he raps on “Beat It Out the Frame.” “Gotta holler ‘Damn,’ let me put some jelly on that jam.” Almost all of Unleashed’s tracks are about getting or admiring booty. Chris’ voice is full of young, endearing menace, and it’s often difficult to tell if he’s angry, horny, or both. But he never phones it in, even when he’s being serious. “I Want It,” an otherwise formulaic, syrup-paced track, goes deep into the psyche of his love interest. “Her mama was a bad bitch/Her daddy tried to lock her up and told her to get married/Messed up her head,” he raps. Naturally, none of this turns him off. “She scratched up my back, and I got pictures to prove it.” The production, courtesy of not-quite-household names like Shawty Red, Play N Skillz, and the Inkredibles, is uniformly excellent, fusing 808 drums with earworm keyboard riffs, all of it coated in a thin gloss. The beats work well with Chris’ skills; think of him as a lyrical giant-in-training, one who could well dominate once he gets around to rhyming about something more substantial than his celebrity crushes.