Chamillionaire Interview (Part 2)
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In Part 1 of our interview with Chamillionaire, the superstar emcee sat down with our own DJ “Z to talk about.the far-reaching impact of his mixtape releases, how his attention to rhyme patterns makes him a unique force in the rap game, and why, despite his fame and fortune, he often feels more comfortable “Creepin’ (Solo).”
Today, we are proud the present the conclusion to our exclusive interview, in which the Chamillitary Man discusses what listeners can expect from Venom when it drops in ‘09, what he’s doing differently, both musically and in regard to promotion, this time around, and how hip hop fans can help combat the Internet’s hater infestation.
Listen to the Interview
Chamillionaire Interview Transcription
DJ Booth: We talked about the song everyone’s heard so far, “Creepin’ (Solo).” If you can, reveal any other exciting records that we should look forward to hearing next year, when the project drops.
Chamillionaire: See, I don’t have certain signatures, so I’ve gotta wait for that. That’s the messed up part of the business side, before I start tellin’ people who’s gonna be on it… There’s actually a big record that – you know, I don’t even wanna say nothing yet. Let me make sure that I’m gonna be able to even get this, ‘cause I might not, because of the price of it. The records that I have, [when] people hear the songs, they’re gonna be like – old fans of Chamillionaire – “Man, he’s rippin’ this song, he’s killin’ it! He’s murkin’ this beat!” I want them to feel like that and be excited. It’ll be something that you grab and go call your friend, like, “Listen to this Chamillionaire – he’s killin’ it!” Or you might have somebody out there who’s like, “Chamillionaire is weak,” or, “Chamillionaire’s a one-hit wonder!” and this fan is gonna take that song, like, “Listen to this, man! This is better than your favorite rapper!” I have records like that, and then other stuff that’s not necessarily about who the name is on the song, but stuff that’s just stupid jammin. And that’s how I felt about “Solo,” when I was listening to it. I kind of took the initiative to put that record out. This wasn’t something that I can say that the label and everybody completely wanted to do. They probably would’ve maybe done it a different way, but this time around, it’s my way. I’m gonna do it my way. What people don’t know is, [off] the last album, “Hip Hop Police,” which I liked – it’s a creative record – is the equivalent of me doing the “Internet Nerds” record on Mixtape Messiah. I didn’t want it as a single, but the label wanted it as a single, so I went with it. I fought it at first, but I lost, and it ended up being a single. So now, when the public views it, they’re like, “Well, Chamillionaire’s dope, but he doesn’t have a good choice of single,” those are idiots who don’t know how the industry works. Like, you can say you’re the boss, but when you’re in a company and all these people are invested in you, you’re not the boss – they’re gonna tell you what they want. This time, I leaked it. I leaked the record, and that’s why I need all my fans’ support: ‘cause I’m doin’ it my way, and if my way doesn’t work, it’s not gonna look good.
DJ Booth: Who knows their project better than the artists themselves? So you need to be in that position. And if you’re looking for a second opinion when you go about A&Ring this new album, just give me a call – I’d be more than happy to give you a second.
Chamillionaire: [laughs] That’s what’s up!
DJ Booth: I got you.
Chamillionaire: I might have to hit you up, man. But you’re gonna feel it, man.
DJ Booth: You mentioned briefly, [your] “label.” You’ve changed since last we spoke; you were with Motown, you’re now with Republic. Why the swap?
Chamillionaire: Republic is who I worked with when I did “Ridin’ (Dirty).” The label switched over, they split into two companies, Motown and Republic, instead of just one company, and then the higher-ups at Universal moved me to Motown, which is cool, but I just went back to where I started at, which was on Republic, for this album.
DJ Booth: Well, if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it. It worked the first time; hopefully it will work the third. Cham, we took a bunch of questions from our readers. I’m going to select three. The first is from Mike E. of Dallas, and he said, “Despite being highly acclaimed, the success of Ultimate Victory probably failed to meet your lofty expectations, so how did you go about changing or altering your approach this time around, on the new album?”
Chamillionaire: I’m not tryin’ to over think it, basically. I’m doin’ what I think is hot, not being overly brainiac. Maybe people might think that I’m preaching, or maybe people feel like my image is too good, or something like that. It’s none of that this time around, man – it’s just good music, that’s it.
DJ Booth: Next question is from SBHS of Eureka, California, and he wrote, “You stated on MM3 that you were losing the feeling that you had for the rap game. Do you still feel that way, or has your affection for the industry changed at all since you made those comments?”
Chamillionaire: As far as the industry is concerned, nah, it ain’t changed. The industry is what it is, man. I see all the stuff that goes on with all the rappers, and all the stuff you have to do. People say, “Keep it real, keep it real, man;” they need to erase, “Keep it real,” from rap at all costs – do not say it, no fans say it. You know, people are online, typing on blogs, talkin’ about keepin’ it real. How are you keepin’ it real when you’re not even showin’ who you are, and the name you’ve got is a fake name?! Everything is fake about it to me.
DJ Booth: Last question comes from Chris J. of Conroe, Texas. He wrote, “A lot of rappers claim to love haters, but as an up-and-coming artist myself, it’s been very hard to deal with hate and rejection. So Cham, how do you go about dealing with all of the negativity that comes your way in the rap game and persevering?”
Chamillionaire: I don’t know, man… [You need] very thick skin to deal with a lot of this stuff. That’s why you see a lot of these entertainers goin’ crazy, ‘cause it’s some powerful stuff, man. Fame is a powerful drug, and so many people say they want it, but they don’t know what it takes to maintain it. I had to deal with a lot of haters. Even T-Pain, you see a lot of people sayin’ it, Kanye; everybody has this theme of, “Nobody believed in me,” type stuff. There’s so many people on the underground right, tryin’ to get into the game – nobody believes in you, nobody thinks that you’re going to make it, and when you do make it, guess what? Everybody’s gonna be your friend. That’s what happens. And then you’re gonna have a lot of people that are gonna backstab and try to be haters. You’re gonna have to deal with it. I have to deal with it at this stage in my career still. I remember walking into XXL, doin’ the whole Save the World campaign and tellin’ them all this stuff to try to convince them to give me a cover, kissin’ everybody’s butt and all that type of stuff, doin’ all the handshakes, kissing-babies type of stuff you have to do, and then later on they diss you in the magazine. It’s like, “Whoa, wait a second! Why the heck was I in here, tellin’ you this whole story about my vision for the album and all that type of stuff?” You don’t necessarily have to feel everything I do, but, man, I feel like I wasted my time! Like, why would I do that again? But the industry tells you you have to do that. And some people would call that haters, some people would say, “Oh, no, that’s just an honest opinion.” I honestly don’t mind, ‘cause when people start talkin’ bad about me on blog, when they start talkin’ bad about me online, the fans gotta understand that this is how the major labels and a lot of people look at success. When a song goes up on whatever website, some A&R in an office, they’re not in the street; they’re looking at that, and they’re seeing what everybody else has said. And then they’ll come to the artist and be like, “Man, everybody’s sayin’ it’s wack,” or, “Everybody’s sayin’ it’s tight.” You know why they’re sayin’ “everybody?” Who is “everybody?” It’s not people in the streets, it’s people reading on blogs. The haters work 10 times harder than the real fans. The haters are the people that go on a site and be like, “You know what? This sucks!” And they’ll post it a hundred times. But there might be other people looking at that that are not haters, they’re fans, and they’re just laughing, not really speaking up, so it just looks like a whole bunch of people are hatin’. I say the way to combat that [is], all the people that aren’t haters, somebody disses your favorite artist, or disses Jay-Z when he’s doin’ his verse, you say, “You know what? Jay’s the man,” and it’s gonna show more people loving it than people hating it. Lil Wayne sold a million records his first week, and he seems like he’s got so many haters out there that are talking bad about him. He was supposed to be done 10 times, but he’s still in the game, killin’ it. The haters are workin’ hard to try to stop it, but it really doesn’t work. You’ve got to use it as motivation, you have to.
DJ Booth: Well, if you’re getting hated on, you must be loved, ‘cause someone would not take the time to hate on you unless you were semi-important.
Chamillionaire: Yeah, I’ve never been that dude, man. I’m pretty sure there will be one square, one lame, that’s gonna look at this interview, and he’s gonna have something retarded to say.
DJ Booth: Exactly. Well, listen: if anyone listens to this interview, and they have anything hateful to say about it, f*ck ‘em, ‘cause this was a great interview.
Chamillionaire: Yeah. I appreciate it, man.
DJ Booth: Give everybody your website or your MySpace page so they can find out more about the new MM5, out right now, and of course the new album dropping next year, Venom.
Chamillionaire: Y’all make sure you tune in to Chamillionaire.com; I’m gonna upload a whole blog on there, and then I’m gonna slowly phase in the whole new website thing. I know people have been waiting, they’re like, “Man, Chamillionaire’s takin’ a while to put his website up.” When the final version gets up, it’s gonna be, to me, the mother of all artist websites.
DJ Booth: No doubt. Well, Cham, I wish you sincerely, as always, nothing but the best of luck, and I appreciate you for joinin’ me inside the DJ Booth once again. You’re always welcome, my man.
Chamillionaire: All right. Thanks, G. I know y’all be showin’ love, man; I’ll be checkin’ it out.