Chris Rene Impresses With Original Hip-Hop Song on ‘X Factor’
The final audition on the series premiere of 'X Factor' was from a guy named Chris Rene, who is 28 years old and working as a garbage man. The father of one -- a 2 1/2-year-old boy -- performed his own original song 'Young Homie' for the judges panel and the audience members, and not only was his voice moving, so was his personal story.
When asked what winning the $5 million recording contract with Sony would mean to him, Rene responded, "It would mean the world -- specifically it would mean stability for my son, my family. I just got out of rehab actually." He went on to talk about his battle with cocaine and methamphetamine addiction, and how he is proud to say that he's been clear and sober for 70 days (and this was filmed back in June). He said, "The shame and the guilt just got to me ... There's always a chance, there's always a choice."
During his performance, Rene switched between smooth rapping and flowing, soulful R&B vocals, reminding us a bit of Drake. The song was called 'Young Homie,' and Rene wrote the music and lyrics himself. The piano-driven song was very moving and clearly held a deep meaning for Rene, as he sang, "Young homie watchu trippin' on / Looking at life like how did I get wrong."
At the end of his performance, Rene was applauded and cheered for as the judges and crowd came to their feet, bringing him to tears. Paula Abdul told him, "you are a bright light," while Nicole Scherzinger played off of his 'Young Homie' lyrics telling him, "Honey, I'm trippin' on you." L.A. Reid told Rene, "I work with some of the greatest hip-hop artists -- Jay-Z, Kanye West -- and they'd be proud of me today to tell you that you are the truth." Simon Cowell also praised Rene, saying, "My favorite feeling in the world is when I sit in this chair and I meet a star for the first time."
After receiving a "yes" from all four judges, with L.A. Reid telling him that he needs to stay sober to succeed, Rene raised his arms in triumph and walked offstage. "That right there that just changed my life. That blew my mind. I'm overwhelmed," the singer/rapper said. Expect to see more from this budding hip-hop artist in future 'X Factor' episodes!
Watch Chris Renee Perform an Original Song on 'X Factor'