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Breaking Artist: Hurricane Chris

October 17, 2007 6:31 PM ET

Who: Eighteen-year-old Chris Dooley from Shreveport, Louisiana, who has been rapping for the better part of his eighteen years. After scoring a local hit with "Yep" (which he penned at fourteen), Dooley partnered with hometown DJ Hollyhood Bay Bay, who inspired Dooley's breakthrough hit, club jam "A Bay Bay."

Sounds Like: Danceable megahooky singles coupled with tongue-twisting, hard-talking bangers that are founded in Shreveport's version of crunk -- a combination of buzzing synths, minimalist drums and chanted hooks.

Three Things You Should Know:
1. The "Hurricane" in Chris' name comes from the show-stopping rap battles he's triumphated at, like the talent show where he beat out high school kids (he was just eight). "After that, I started writing every day and entering rap competitions," Dooley says. "I was competing at the Air Force base, schools -- anywhere."
2. Dooley's debut, 51/50 Ratchet, is inspired by ratchet, the Shreveport brand of crunk which also describes Dooley's laidback lifestyle. He explains it as "do what you feel -- I might be in the club's VIP section with my shoes off," Dooley says. "It's about being comfortable and having fun."
3. After "A Bay Bay" progressed from local hit to national sensation, J Records head honcho Clive Davis asked for a personal performance from Dooley. "He stood up and shook my hand," Dooley recalls. "Told me I was a star." Dooley signed with J to release 51/50.

Get It: 51/50 Ratchet hits stores next Tuesday, October 23rd, but you can sample tracks from the record -- including "A Bay Bay" -- on Hurricane Chris' MySpace.

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Song Stories

“Bird on a Wire”

Leonard Cohen | 1969

While living on the Greek island of Hydra, Cohen was battling a lingering depression when his girlfriend handed him a guitar and suggested he play something. After spotting a bird on a telephone wire, Cohen wrote this prayer-like song of guilt. First recorded by Judy Collins, it would be performed numerous times by artists incuding Johnny Cash, Joe Cocker and Rita Coolidge. "I'm always knocked out when I hear my songs covered or used in some situation," Cohen told Rolling Stone. "I've never gotten over the fact that people out there like my music."

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