Real name: Hakeem Seriki
Some background: Chamillionaire started off on Houston’s Swishahouse label with Paul Wall. They left in search of more money, put out the Get Ya Mind Correct mixtape and eventually parted ways on bad terms. Before his major label deal, Chamillionaire’s Mixtape Messiah (2004) was infamous on the streets and sold more than 40,000 copies in its first month.
On Houston: “It’s a real Southern city. The North Side and South Side are a little different. A while back it used to be real, real different, but it’s a little more unified now. On the North Side they used to wear braids-that was kind of a symbol in the streets that represented you were from the North Side. And on the South Side people used to wear these low bald fades. Most of the younger generation of Houston rappers that’s coming out now are all from the North Side. But the older generation-the OG members of the Screwed Up Clique and all that-are all from the South Side.”
On chopped and screwed music: “I feel like that’s something that goes along with the lifestyle. In Texas it’s kind of laid back and chill. You’ve got people that do the syrup, that listen to screw. You’ve got people that get in their candy cars and just cruise around the city, just driving slow, enjoying life.”
On his story: “The popular thing now is to be a drug dealer, an ex-drug dealer, or you got shot before, or you used to kill people. But me, I kind of went against the grain and said I’m a normal kid that grew up watching his family poor and wants to turn it into something. I think America in general is intrigued by people turning nothing into something.”
On religion: “I go to church every Sunday I’m in Houston. Now I have people asking for autographs in church. It’s crazy, but yeah, I still do that and I still pay tithes and all that stuff.”
On being a celebrity: “I love it for the reason that it feeds my family. It’s not for the fame at all.” ;
Current release: The Sound of Revenge is out now on Universal Records.