Earlier this week, Hurricane Chris released his first album in over two years, Unleashed. Put out by Polo Grounds Music/J Records, the sophomore LP boasts an appearance from Plies, as well as production from Shawty Redd and The Inkredibles. Speaking with HipHopDX this month, a Chris entering his twenties now, explained his evolution since 2007. “I’ve been grindin’, grindin’, grindin’ – doin’ a whole bunch of work on my music. I’ve been in the studio non-stop, for the past two years. We’ve just been trying to get [Polo Grounds/J Records] all the way behind us, and put a real engine behind me. Every time I drop my singles, they go #1 on the radio; I make big headline singles.”

With other Rap artists such as Rhymefest and Cassidy vacating the J Records imprint this year, Chris explained what he was trying to prove to his three-year backers. “I want [the label and I] to crush our competition and not just be in the middle with it.”

Recreating 2007’s magic with hit single “Ay Bay Bay” feels organic to Chris, as he said, “[Unleashed] is gonna be a jump from [51/50 Ratchet].” On Unleashed, he has only one track from Ratchet movement hit-maker Phunk Dog. Speaking about “Beat It Out The Frame,” Chris said, “Phunk Dawg, that’s my dog, that’s my go-to producer. Everybody knows. We go into the studio and the first one he cranked out was [‘Beat It Out The Frame’]. It’s a retarded club hook. We have great chemistry. I freestyled [my verse], straight up.” Chris did say that given the proper development of Unleashed, the track is a potential single.

A confident rapper, Chris feels as though he’s primed to transition from entertainer to businessman. “I’m really in control of this Rap game, ya feel me? So I’ve been trying to get my game up on the business-side, ya feel me? I’ve got a record label that I’m coming out with, 51/50.” Asked why now is the time to build an imprint, Chris proudly pointed to his track record. “I told Mike Jones to go and do ‘Drop And Gimme 50,’ I constantly went into the studio and made hits…I did a lot of writing, some writing for other people – I ain’t gone say they names, but it’s constantly been ‘Hurricane season.’ Now you can keep your eyes locked on me.”

With Shrevport, Louisiana’s ratchet movement being introduced to the masses through Chris, the young rapper was asked if the aggressive lifestyle was threatened by recent incarcerations in and out of entertainment. Chris deduced, “We got a lot of rappers, people in music and entertainment period that’s goin’ to jail right now. We’re losing a lot of good people to system. It’s because we got people that ain’t makin’ good decisions and we got haters too, matter of fact, that’s steady tryin’ to bring our people down. We gotta pray for everybody; everybody seems to find theyself behind the bars these days. That done got my attention in a major way. That ain’t the route I’m tryin’ to go, and that ain’t the route that we promote. Free [Lil] Boosie; that’s my dog. He in there now. We hopin’ he’ll be home real soon.”

Purchase Unleashed by Hurricane Chris