The cover of H5 by Cdot Honcho. Credit: Courtesy the Artist

Chicago rapper Cdot Honcho doesn’t mess around. His rapping often sounds like a kind of carefully controlled yelling, clear and intense even when he doesn’t ever seem to pause for breath, and his most commanding performances feel downright cutthroat. Cdot has been perfecting this approach to the mike since he began his local ascent a few years ago, so that on the new self-released H5 he’s not just tough as nails but also surgically precise. On the standout “Mhm Mhm,” he faces off with the instrumental’s minimal bass thwack like an undermatched champion boxer, occasionally stepping away from his flurries of blows to deliver ad-libs with a slight swagger. Cdot also holds his own on tracks he shares with high-profile Chicago rappers 147 Calboy and Valee, and the endorsements implied by their presence are as clear a sign of his potential for national crossover success as his insistent raps.   v