Chamillionaire has gone through a lot of ups and downs in the hip-hop biz. In his early years, he and Paul Wall grinding independently, moving hundreds of thousands of units out the trunk in the south.
That work ethic set him up for a successful solo career that culminated with a platinum-selling debut called The Sound of Revenge, which included his mega-hit “Ridin’ Dirty”, his biggest hit to date.
Despite becoming a major player and winning a Grammy, the Houston rapper had to experience the politics … and it started right after his debut hit and his single took off. And according to Chamillionaire, it was his label Universal’s fault.
“Sound of Revenge, I got sued. Everybody from left and right was suing me,” the rapper explained in a recent live Ustream with fans.
He says because the people at Universal — who he has a 50/50 joint venture with for his own Chamillitary label — didn’t handle all the paperwork correctly, artists/producer/etc who ended up on the album were not paid … and eventually someone had to come outta pocket.
“When them lawsuits came, you know what Universal did, they threw all them lawsuits on my table,” Cham explained. “I had to pay people, personally, outta my pocket, outta my share and be like ‘Look here, I know you did this, ok good.’ I’m paying people 10 times what its really worth.”
Now, in 2010, fans are waiting on Chamillionaire’s next solo record, Venom … they’ve been waiting for a while now. In a recent live Ustream with his fans, the rapper revealed that he’s still going through it with Universal, thus holding up the release of this album
During his video stream, Cham told a story about Pimp C’s wife providing him with a posthumous track, but because Universal feels his project is “over budget” they want him to cut several songs … one of those would be the Pimp C song, among others. So far, Cham says he’s cut a number of songs, so many that Venom’s tracklist is down to 10. One even features him alongside all the members of Bone Thugs-N-Harmony.
“That’s why I wasn’t saying what features. It got to the point where I took off so much, it’s like … I wanna be comfortable with the album. I want it to me right,” Cham says. “So, I’m fighting. That’s where we at. If ya’ll feel a certain way, ya’ll go to Universal and tell them stop playing. They can get mad, I don’t care. I’m not gonna sugarcoat nothing.”
Why is Cham outing his label? Because he says he wants to keep it “1,000% honest” with his fans. However, he makes it clear that Venom will drop. The only question is when?
“In this industry, I refuse to fake it,” the rapper said. “I refuse to tell ya’ll that everything is so great and when you get in this industry, you’re gonna have to deal with a lot of nonsense like that. You’re gonna have to deal with people that are not attached to music, at all, telling you how to make the record.”
Until the album drops, you can enjoy its latest leak, “Make A Movie” featuring Lloyd and Twista. Cham just leaked it this week.