Chad Watson is here to put on for his city of Los Angeles. He is a true hip-hop head, if there ever was one. Describing himself as a “Hip hop enthusiast, lyricist, and all-around music connoisseur,” Chad states, “I’m a fan of anything that’s good, or quality put together. But my home would be hip-hop.”
Growing up in Baldwin Hills but now residing in the Inglewood area, Chad Watson first experienced fame as a teenager on the reality television show titled Baldwin Hills. Premiered on BET 10 years ago, the show took place in the black Beverly Hills, chronicling the lives of privileged sons and daughters of doctors, lawyers, actors, and athletes.
Chad fell in love with music at a very young age, growing up in the church surrounded by gospel and choir. But it was Redman’s debut studio album Malpractice that got him hooked to the genre of rap as a whole. And his fifth time in the studio ever, he whipped up “She Don’t F With Rappers,” which instantly picked up organically with 100K streams to date.
Now after a string of singles, Chad is excited as ever to be dropping his debut album titled Lord of the Unimpressed.
AllHipHop spoke with Chad Watson in downtown Los Angeles to discuss how he started recording, his new song “BDE,” his forthcoming album, giving back, and more!
AllHipHop: What was it like growing up in Baldwin Hills?
Chad Watson: It was real cool. It’s quiet. It’s a bunch of older black professionals. They call it the black Baldwin Hills. It’s uppity, but it’s nice though. It’s nice. I’d raise a family there for sure.
AllHipHop: The only time I’ve been there was to go to Stevie Mackey’s house.
Chad Watson: Facts, it’s a couple of older Hollywood actors that you might have known or heard of. They’re all former Lakers, judges, attorneys, a lot of people like that. It’s a cool area to settle down. My dad’s an attorney, so I’d never be able to… you know? But I was fortunate enough to grow up over there.
AllHipHop: How was your experience on BET’s Baldwin Hills?
Chad Watson: It was fun. That was the first thing that put me on camera. From there, we were able to go to clubs and parties. Gave us a little bit of clout, that was the most fun about it.
AllHipHop: Were you rapping then?
Chad Watson: Nope, we were only 17. We were just kids. We hadn’t even gone to college or nothing yet.
AllHipHop: Were you all wildin’?
Chad Watson: They tell us to do certain things. They wanted storylines. We had relationship drama, homie beef, s### like that. Eric Bellinger was in that group, he was in the same clique. It’s a small world.
AllHipHop: Did you grow up to the West Coast legends?
Chad Watson: You know what, I didn’t even listen to rap until I was 13 to 14. My first rap album wasn’t even Tupac or Bone-Thugs, which it should have been probably. But it was Redman. That’s my dude. I don’t know if he does too much rapping anymore, but that was my first album: Malpractice.
AllHipHop: Is Chad Watson your real name?
Chad Watson: It’s my middle name. I couldn’t think of an artist name so I thought I’d keep it real.
AllHipHop: Talk about releasing your first single, how’d you learn how to record?
Chad Watson: My first single was 3 years ago, it was either that one or one of my very first ones ever that went viral. That’s the whole reason I was able to even do something. It was on a fluke, a whim. It’s crazy. I didn’t put any promotion, I didn’t know how to do all that stuff. I just put it out, but somehow it got hooked up to these really powerful Spotify playlists. From there, it developed its own algorithm.
I rolled with it and kept putting stuff out. I only put out singles forever, I’m now finally deciding to put an album out. I thought singles were better, right? You give them each their own time to break, or not. I thought the single way was aggressive?, but a lot of people have been wanting an album. So I decided to do it.
AllHipHop: Definitely want to talk about “She Don’t F With Rappers,” what inspired that?
Chad Watson: That’s the track I’m talking about, that’s one of the first ones. I made that at the time about a girl I was dating at that time, that wasn’t somebody that was into industry people. Through a connect I had, I was able to get some studio time. That friend of mine, I didn’t even know about mixing and mastering and all that stuff. I was fortunate, I paid for maybe 2 hours and they gave me all the time that I needed. Next thing you know, we put that out and that’s the track that started everything.
AllHipHop: Was that when you started taking music serious?
Chad Watson: Before that studio, I had only gone to friends’ studios. That was my professional studio. There was an engineer in there, the sound board, the takes and all that. Once I developed my studio etiquette and my voice, that’s when I started finding the booth as home. I swear, it was my fifth time in the studio ever.
AllHipHop: What about your new single, “BDE”?
Chad Watson: [laughs] “BDE” specifically, I wanted a club banger. I felt like I didn’t have one. I made that song just for the clubs. I made “BDE” as something the girls could twerk to, something that’d get that rotation. Repetitive hook, I thought it came out really well. It’s a crowd favorite.
AllHipHop: Do you be clubbing?
Chad Watson: Not as much as I used to. I used to go more often, but then once COVID hit. I just got back comfortable being a homebody. I used to frequent Supperclub, Do Over, those day parties and s### like that. Those are necessary, though. Right now what I’m doing with you, I’m doing more club appearances, performance, just to help get promotion out there.
AllHipHop: What can we expect from your forthcoming album, Lord of the Unimpressed?
Chad Watson: Yes, that’s the one.
AllHipHop: Are you unimpressed?
Chad Watson: [laughs] I’m hoping everybody else is impressed. It’s going to show a funky side of me. It’s eclectic, so it shows what you’d expect from me, but also what you wouldn’t. It shows both sides. It’s going to show a good range of singing, a little bit of storytelling. There’s a real clear hip-hop theme to it. I’m ready for it. I hope everybody can vibe with it the way I do.
AllHipHop: Why did you name it that?
Chad Watson: That’s a good question. I thought the first one was going to have to be something that was particular to me. Being unimpressed embodies not being impressed by the fake stuff, the shiny things. There’s a lot of people like that: they want substance, they want things that they can resonate with. I’d consider myself the face of that movement, so I’d be the Lord of the Unimpressed of most people.
AllHipHop: What do you want listeners to take away from the project?
Chad Watson: If anything else, just the hard work for the quality of it. Sometimes, you can appreciate something even if it isn’t your genre, which is just the fact that it was well-made. I’m hoping that fans can at least appreciate the effort, the curation behind the tracks, and jthe fact that it’s a quality production.
AllHipHop: 3 things you need in the studio at all times?
Chad Watson: Weed, alcohol, and good vibes.
AllHipHop: How was it opening up for Yo Gotti?
Chad Watson: That was fun. Backwoods was doing a national showcase, I won. They had each city at Miami, Atlanta, LA, Dallas. It’s supposed to be in Atlanta. I was supposed to be flown out there, but they had it out here. It was cool. It was fun. They were out there taking pictures, they had the buffet breakfast. They should have still put me up in the room, they didn’t do that for me because I lived in LA.
But the experience was fun, it was one of my first big stages. It was at the Catch, which is a culture spot. That’s huge. I performed there one other time, but that was a big deal for me to be able to perform there. Get that attention, those cameras. It was free merch. It was one of my first times being treated one of the bigger people, so it was an experience. That taste of it made me know I wanted to keep doing it.
AllHipHop: Talk about giving away to the homeless and your charity work.
Chad Watson: The LA Mission is one of my favorite organizations to partner up with. They do a lot of giving out food, hot plates at the end of the night. Just dinner, I think that’s clutch. Different ways: backpacks full of socks, underwear, t-shirts. I partnered with Humanity Heroes. These are things I try to do once a month. Sometimes the schedule won’t allow me to. But at least once a month, I try to at least get a day where I go down and at least get some food or a backpack. Some people are really hands on in the trenches, and I can respect that. I want to get more involved like that.
AllHipHop: What makes you want to give back?
Chad Watson: A lot of us, we get a little bit of a name and we’re seen winning by going to the clubs and the jewelry store. But the real sign of winning when you get a little bit of a name is to show how tied into the community you are to get it back. I want to change that winning phase. Winning is the change, but winning is also the dudes that are giving back, serving, community service. Even if it’s after-school tutoring, whatever you can in different ways. But that should be the true sign of winning, I want to be known for that.
AllHipHop: Talk about your upcoming merch line with MaisonTiet.
Chad Watson: We’ve been working all year on something special to drop at the end of the year, it’ll correlate with my album. We’ve been doing one of one customs: logo t-shirts, logo sweaters with embroidery and things like that. He’s an East Coast designer, he’s doing major things over there. He uses a luxury hemp, they come with a specialized magnetic seal pouch. It’s next level functional. I wanted to pick a brand that was comfortable, kind of luxury, but also look nice. His design and the stuff he comes up with over there is next level. I was grateful for the opportunity. He impressed me and we were able to come together on a cool sweater and t-shirt line that’ll complement the album.
AllHipHop: Do you have any goals?
Chad Watson: Yup. It’s funny, it used to be win a Grammy. But now my goal is if I can get my message out and it’s received positively, and I can affect people who want to either do more or follow their dreams or if they change in any way, then that’i\ll be my goal. That’s all I really want.
AllHipHop: Anything else you want to let us know?
Chad Watson: The album, that’s pretty much it. Stay tuned for the stuff that’s coming out this year. The album, the merch, that’s it.