What would life be without struggle? Would we become bored with the ease at which success comes? Would we be handicapped in our ability to appreciate our blessings? It's hard to say because in reality, everyone experiences struggle. It's an integral part of life. Yet, how one responds to such struggle is what truly makes or breaks his/her process and progress. Chaz French, rapper and Washington, D.C. native, has learned that struggle is merely an opportunity for growth. Having lived through both homelessness and a near-death car accident, he's gained the understanding that struggle is what made him.
"Your struggles is like the most important shit in your life if you really don't let it get the best of you, and that's hard," Chaz said during an interview with Hot 97 That's Enuff's Unique. "It's a struggle everyday. Even if you're successful, even if you're a fucking billionaire, you still have some type of struggle. But it makes you a better person at the end of the day."
Debut Mixtape, Happy Belated
In his self-released debut project, Happy Belated (2014), Chaz turns his struggle into a documentary of his life. The intro alone gives us much insight into his story. In two minutes and fifty-two seconds, he touches on a plethora of points: a hurt mother and absent father; love for his daughter; alcohol addiction; relationship woes; surviving a car accident; and pridefulness that eventually led to homelessness. The song ends with the repeated phrase, "the struggle what made us, happy belated." Little did Chaz know, "the struggle what made us" would resonate heavily with listeners and become his catchphrase. By the end of the first song, Chaz turned listeners into believers that soon became followers of his music, relating all too well to his story.
These Things Take Time #TTTT
Happy Belated introduced us to Chaz French the person and Chaz French the artist. He conveyed a series of emotions as he depicted his struggles, alternating between a grungy, commanding delivery and a melodic, sing-song flow. The raw honesty of his content helped secure the attention of music lovers worldwide. He continued to share his story with the release of his second project, These Things Take Time (2015). "I was in a happier space," said Chaz in regards the lighter mood of this project. The mixtape is accompanied by features from GoldLink, Saba, Phil Adé and more. Chaz expresses: "the overall message of this project is that you must find joy in your journey through life and even when you're destined for greatness, just know that These Things Take Time."
Check out the visuals for the single, "IDK", off These Things Take Time below.
Peaked your interest? Listen to the rest of the mixtape below!
Don't Let The Struggle Break You
Chaz French can be labeled as many things - rapper since age seven; father of two beautiful children; admirer of the late Jean-Michel Basquiat; believer in God - but it should also be noted that he's an artist who allowed his struggle to become his strength. Without strife, there would be no story to share with and inspire his listeners. If not for adversity, he may not have captured the attention of celebrities like Pusha T, or had the opportunity to collaborate with universally known artists like Wale. It's all a matter of perspective. There are truly no losses if you turn them into lessons. Struggle is what made Chaz French. Will your struggle break you or make you too?
Chaz is set to release a third project, combining the likes of Happy Belated and These Things Take Time, sometime this year. Be on the lookout. He'll also be performing at Broccoli City Festival in Washington, D.C. on May 6th, and Rolling Loud Festival in Miami, Florida taking place May 5th-7th. Stay hip to his struggles and successes by following him on all social media platforms.
Stay tuned for next week's Music Monday feature brought to you by UxU's very own, Snook!
Until then, don't let the struggle break you.
Keep gaining + maintaining, family.