Chamillionaire talks on his debut album, the highly anticipated 'The Sound of Revenge', his past mixtapes, his life, his future and everything else Chamillitary, check it out in full, uncut, below.....
Medina: You are pretty well known in Texas hip hop circuit, but for those who don't know who you are introduce yourself.
Chamillionaire: Iím Chamillionaire, Texas' "Mixtape Messiah" I came up in the mixtape game spittiní freestyles and dropped one of the most successful independent records to come out of Houston. I have sold a lot of records out here and that got me the Chamillitary/Universal record deal. This year Iím coming out with an album called "The Sound of Revenge" to show the world a lyrical side of the South that I feel the world is not seeing right now.
Medina: How did you get started?
Chamillionaire: I started off doing promotions, but that eventually turned into me spittiní verses on mixtapes. A lot of times relationships get people in the door.
Medina: How difficult was it trying to get established in Hip Hop being from Texas?
Chamillionaire: I donít think being from Texas makes it hard at all because music changes so much that you just have to keep grinding until itís your turn to shine. Itís not like New York where there is a major label on every block but thatís why the independent scene is so big out here. People out here had to learn how to make a way with no major label support first and I think thatís the best way to learn the game.
Medina: What was the first rap song you ever heard?
Chamillionaire: MannnnÖ I donít think my memory is good enough to remember that one, but I know I wasnít supposed to be listening to it when I heard it. My parents were not really into rap too much.
Medina: How did that impact your life?
Chamillionaire: The more I started getting into rap, I would just naturally start liking a lot of songs. I appreciate music, so Iím not really the type of person that always complains about all the music that he thinks is bad. I could always find something good about the music and open my ears and give different types of songs a chance. I guess that has just helped me to be open minded about things. I have always had my own mind, but people can tell me what they think and Iím the type of person that will take it into consideration.
Medina: How hot is the mixtape scene in Houston?
Chamillionaire: Well, itís hot enough to get MTV to come down to Houston and do a special on Houston. They didnít really completely just focus on the mixtapes, but everyone they covered came up in the Houston mixtape game. There are a lot of mixtape groups out here and thatís how mostly everyone is gettingí known. Most of the cds are screwed cds because that is the popular sound out here. Dj Screw and the Screwed Up Click started that movement and a lot of people are getting known because of that.
Medina: You've been dubbed the "Mix Tape Messiah"- How many have you been featured on?
Chamillionaire: I lost count a long time ago, so I know itís a lot of mixtapes. Most of the mixtapes coming out of this area would have a freestyle wití me on it. Every week Iíll see a new one that I didnít even know existed but I appreciate the djs supporting me in the streets.
Medina: Do you remember the first mixtape you were on? What was it?
Chamillionaire: ďChoppiní em up 2Ē. I believe that was the name of it. I could be wrongÖ but I know the freestyle that was on it wasnít even screwed and it was on a Missy Elliot beat.
Medina: You were formerly affiliated with SwishaHouse. Can I ask why that affiliation ended?
Chamillionaire: Swishahouse cares about itself and I realized that it was time to start caring about me if I wanted to be financially successful. I donít value fame more than I value the dolla, so I had to go get some dollars. I donít spend all my days and nights grinding to make anyone but my family happy now. Iíll sacrifice my blood sweat and tears for them but Iím not gonna go out there and be a slave so somebody elseís family eats good while mine is starving. The affiliation ended when I came to that realization. I donít wish any bad on them though, Iím honestly glad to see they are still eating but I knew I had to go get my plate on my own.
Medina: Any chance on reconciliation?
Chamillionaire: There aren't any hard feelings towards the Swishahouse. I still talk to some of the members. I donít really talk to the others because I donít like to pretend to be friends when I know its not like that. I donít have anything to say but good luck wit your life.
Medina: You have had major "talk about" on the independent level by moving major units why sign with a major label at this point?
Chamillionaire: You can get in the major system and make some serious money if you sign the right type of deal when you enter. I still feel like independent money is good and I still can and do get that money, but the reason why the major thing wasnít on the radar before was because of the types of situations that were being offered. When I would tell people what I thought was fair they would say the industry is not designed like that and I feel like the majors design it, so it works highly in their favor. I can see the way they are looking at it if I put myself in their shoes and see how much money they invest into projects, but why sign a deal that is not gonna benefit you the way that you want. When you sign that first contract a lot of times that is your only shotÖ so you gotta make sure that you are 99 percent comfortable with what you are signing.
Medina: What are some of the differences that you have run into? (Being independent and then signing with a major?)
Chamillionaire: Majors spend a lot of money on everything. If it doesnít work they write it off as a loss so when tax time comes around they donít mess with it again. When you are independent, your product that you are pushiní is your only chance of survival, so you can't just be giviní up like that and loosing faith if it doesn't work the first time. Majors have hundreds of people in the streets working to make something happen and when you are independent, you are your biggest and best employee and have to do most of the stuff yourself.
Medina: Why did you choose Universal?
Chamillionaire: When I realized that they were gonna give me the type of deal that I wanted, I started realizing that it would be possible to get in the major system and make some serious money. I met with a lot of labels but to meÖ it just seemed like they were not as serious about doing business as Universal. Universal budged on things that I knew others would not because they were serious about doing business. They didn't feed me the B.S. They told me the downside and the upside and didnít try to feed me the fantasy that some people like to hear. That type of stuff keeps me grounded and motivated when I hear it that way and my gut instinct told me to mess wití them.
Medina: Your highly anticipated first major label release "The Sound of Revenge"- Why did you choose that title?
Chamillionaire: I named it the "Sound of Revenge" for two reasons and one is because there are people out there that will go to sleep feeling very good at night if I fail. The thought of my failure is a good feeling to some people and this album is gonna give them the opposite of that feeling. Some peopleÖ feel like itís their job to try and crush your confidence and I donít let anything or what anyone says stop me from being successful and success is the best revenge. The goal is to make an album, that the world will love and I intend to drop an album that sounds like I was successful in my attempt. There are people who hype up everything and donít live up to the hype and I want my music to match the hype of the album.
Medina: How many cuts are on the album?
Chamillionaire: I have done a lot of songs, but Iím still recording. Some have been given to video games and some will be used for other things. I like to give the fans a lot more but sometimes a lot is too much. Iíll know soon.
Medina: Who is featured on the album?
Chamillionaire: I have some pretty nice features on the album, but I donít want to jump the gun and start saying who because some songs might not even end up in the album. I donít feel likeÖ I have to get a million features though, cuz I have always had the confidence to hold my own. I'll say what's final when Iím sure.
Medina: Who produced the album?
Chamillionaire: I have recorded enough material for a couple albums and we haven't really decided what songs are gonna make the album yet, but the producers I have messed wit are; Scott Storch, The Beat Bullies, David Banner, Kenoe, Dj Toomp, Mannie Fresh,Happy P, Play & Skills, Cool & Dre, KLC, Dj Paul & Juicy JÖ and a lot more. I have messed wit a lot of people.
Medina: What is your favorite cut off the album? And Why?
Chamillionaire: I donít have just one favorite record on there but there are a couple personal records I did that move me when I hear them. I came up in the mixtape circuit and during my career I have not done a lot of really personal songs like some that are on my album.
Medina: Tell the people what they can expect when they purchase your album.
Chamillionaire: A sound that is original, lyrical, witty, and creative is what the public can expect. I try to think up creative concepts for songs because there are a lot of rappers that just follow the lead of the last hot rapper. Iím bringing some innovative and lyrically creative music to the world from a Southernersí perspective. The overall concept of the album is pretty creative also so people should definately give it a listen.
Medina: Where do you see yourself in five years?
Chamillionaire: SuccessfulÖ beyond peoples expectations. The average life of a rapper doesn't even last that long but I intend on still being relevant to the rap game. It doesn't have to be on the stage holding the microphone because rap is a stepping stone to something higher. When you keep the thought that rap artistsí money isnít as good as it gets in your mind, then you will be able to reach for something better when you get that rap money. Knowing is half the battle.
Medina: Thank You for your time and much continued success
Chamillionaire: Thank you
Source: Interview taken by Medina for SixShot
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