The Buzz On: Chris Rene

Listen to 'Young Homie,' the first single from 'X Factor U.S.A.' contestant Chris Rene.

Santa Cruz native Chris Rene is a quadruple threat. He sings, writes, raps and produces, which basically translates into "Watch your back, everyone else in the music industry." Like all good reality show contestants, Chris' stint on "X Factor U.S.A." wasn't his first time at the rodeo. Before auditioning for the show, Chris was in a band called Diversion and also had his own solo career. While both achieved moderate success, it wasn't until he was assigned to "Team L.A. Reid" after taking the third runner-up spot on "The X Factor" that America was turned on to Rene's talent.

Read more about Chris Rene after the jump.

It was also while on "The X Factor" that America learned of Chris' struggles with drugs and addiction -- Chris was just 70 days sober when he came in for his first audition. In fact, it was his team mentor, L.A. Reid, who urged him to stay clean for his career and family. Not coincidentally, it was also Reid who signed Rene to his first major label deal at Epic Records.

In an homage to the "X Factor" audition that changed Chris' life, Epic Records chose to release "Young Homie," Chris' original composition and "X Factor" audition song, as his first single. Produced by J.R. Rotem, "Young Homie" is a relaxed jam that we can already hear spinning at your next beachside BBQ. Though the vibe is laid-back, the lyrics are poignant and touch on Chris' battle to reach his true potential: "Hey, young homie, what you trippin' on?/Looking at life, like how did I get it wrong?/Life's too short, gotta live it long/To my brothers and sisters, when will we get along?"

We really wish we could claim that we told you about Chris Rene first, but the 20 million or so viewers who tuned in to "The X Factor" each week would totally know we were lying. So we'll just hop on the bandwagon this time.

+ Listen to Chris Rene's "Young Homie."