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You’ve had a lot of success in Houston, but do you feel like you haven’t gotten that mainstream recognition yet? I mean, it could always be better, but a lot of people know of us outside of the Houston market. I was doing shows in Cleveland and Denver and all kinds of places before I even got signed to a major. The bootlegs and the mixtapes help, you know. Everybody wants to show the world what they have, so that’s what I’m ready to do. With a lot of Houston artists signing deals, did you feel pressure to get signed? Not really. It’s just that when you are having a certain level of success on the underground, everybody wants to step it up and show the world what they’ve got. People are like, “He can do it regionally, but not nationally.” But that doesn’t really bother me. The main thing that motivates me is just being financially set. I don’t care about being famous more than I care about being financially set. It was a lot of people coming to me about getting signed, so it just happened that way. I didn’t go to New York trying to get signed, that’s just how it turned out. What labels did you talk to? It was a bidding war. I talked to a lot of people, from Def Jam to Asylum/Warner. Asylum actually wanted to sign me, and I didn’t know that Swishahouse was signing with them. When I found out, I was like, “I can’t do it.” Joie was real cool, they came to Houston and hollered at me, but I just couldn’t do it. You didn’t sign to Asylum because you didn’t want to be labelmates with Mike Jones and Paul Wall? Yeah, honestly. And I told [Asylum] that. But honestly, Universal gave me the best deal. It was a deal that made sense for me. Honestly, at first, Universal was the label I didn’t want to sign with. But when I learned how their system worked, I found out a way to make it work for me. I’m a person who likes to have a lot of control. How did the relationship between you and Paul Wall deteriorate? I can’t really put my finger on it. I could point out a lot of little things, but they’re really just little things. I don’t know, honestly. I hear all kinds of stuff from the streets, but I’ve never heard it directly from him. I’ve sat there next to Paul for so many years and seen him smile at people that he really hated. I’m just not that type of person. Who would’ve known he could do that to me, too? He was actually sitting there smiling and not telling me what was wrong. So would you say that he caused the split? Nah, it’s a little bit of both. We both were going in different directions and arguing. I’m a person that cares more about the business. For a while, when we were doing shows, we’d do the good guy/bad guy thing. Kinda like good cop/bad cop. And he would be the good cop. We didn’t have a manager. I had to go out there and be the bad guy. I was doing it for the team. He’d be whispering in my ear, “$3,500. Don’t go lower.” So I’d tell [the promoter], “$3,500. I can’t go lower.” I was doing it for the team. And he’s telling them, “I don’t know why Chamillion trippin’.” So he’s looking like the good guy. And I was cool with that, because I didn’t care. But now that we split up, everybody remembers that he was the good guy and I was the bad guy. He’s trying to turn it on me. Most people that

know me are like, Chamillion’s cool. It is what it is. I don’t go out there tryin’ to be friends with everybody. I just do me. You can’t really worry about that too much, cause at the end of the day, that’s just business. That’s everybody. People smile in your face all day and lie to you. That’s what this business is built on. It’s a lot of fake people. I don’t need that. I just hang with my team and make money. A lot of Houston artists are making noise on a national level right now, but a lot of those artists don’t get along with each other. That don’t really matter, because the fans who are on the outside looking in don’t really know about that stuff and don’t really care. If you’re a Mike Jones fan and a Chamillionaire fan, you’ll go buy both CDs regardless of whether they’re beefing or not. Of course, when you see a city have success, you don’t want to see everybody go at each other. But to me it’s not that bad, it’s just a little tension. Even the beef or whatever that I was in, I felt like it was something I had to do. If I had to do it again, I’d do it again. People can have whatever opinion they want. That’s just how I feel. Do you feel like the CD you put out dissing Mike Jones was a bit of overkill? I heard that before. People are like, “Man, you did a whole CD.” Man, people are so dumb. I’m not saying my fans are stupid, though, don’t quote me wrong. But people don’t really pay attention to stuff. You could explain the meaning and the reason why you do something, but they’re only gonna hear what they want to hear. As far as the overkill thing, it was three CDs, and one of them was chopped and screwed. Originally, the CD wasn’t even about him. Count how many songs it really was. They’re acting like it was a hundred songs about dude. (laughing) Well, honestly, it was a lot. But we did leak a lot that were already done. It got to a point where DJs kept putting it on their mix CDs, so it just looked like Chamillionaire was out there doing all these mix CDs when in reality I had only done Mixtape Messiah. It was so many mixtapes lingering on after that, they were like, he’s still killing dude. It wasn’t really like that. a lot of my fans took it more

“REVENGE IS SUCCESS. I LOVE THIS POSITION THAT I’M IN RIGHT NOW, BECAUSE I’M SO CONFIDENT. THERE ARE A LOT OF FANS OUT THERE THAT YOU CAN’T COUNT ON SOUNDSCAN OR BDS.”

serious than I did. I heard people say all kinds of stuff, but I don’t care what they say. I know what he did to me. Ultimately, do you think the beef with Mike Jones helped or hurt your career? Nah, man, I don’t think it hurt. You don’t understand the cult following that I have. I don’t really think about that and measure it. I don’t think it hurt my career, so I guess it helped it. Honestly, when I dropped it, I thought it was gonna backfire. But I’m the type of person that can only hold it in for so long. I have to say what’s on my mind. If right now, we’re sitting here and I’m not feeling you, I just can’t hide it. It’ll make me feel better if I say, “I don’t like you.” Some people might say that makes me an asshole, but that makes me feel better. It makes me feel like a real nigga. When I wake up in the morning and look at myself in the mirror, I’m comfortable with myself. I was just basically venting. The way I grew up, I’ve been around a lot of fake stuff all my life. I got tired of dealing with that world. People tell me that’s just the way it is, you have to pretend. I’m a person that’s like, nobody’s gonna control my life. People told me that no matter where I signed a major deal, I was gonna get screwed, so just worry about the show money. I’m like, nah, I don’t wanna just worry about the show money. I just wanna be comfortable with every part of my life. When I signed the contract, I wanted to feel comfortable with it. What’s the name of your album? It’s called The Sound of Revenge, and it’s dropping September 27th. Wasn’t it originally going to be called Controversy Sells? Yeah, originally, my album was gonna be called Controversy Sells, but it’s crazy the way it panned out. When people were saying, “It’s a publicity stunt,” they basically turned it into a publicity stunt. There was a concept to Controversy Sells, just like Kanye West’s College Dropout had a concept throughout it. That’s how I was doing my album. [Paid In Full], the label I used to be signed to with Paul [Wall], put out Controversy Sells. They started dissing me on all the skits and took my old vocals and put them with new Paul Wall verses. I thought it was funny that they dissed me on all the skits, because my fans were calling the label cursing them out. Every great rapper has a story, and all this is creating a big story for me. Before, I was just a young kid that could spit. Now, they’re into the whole story – the breakup of Swishahouse, the breakup with Paul – and it just creates a story for me. People like to feel like they know you and what you’ve been through. Honestly, Mike Jones has got a song called “Back Then,” and it’s successful because it’s telling the story of what he’s been through to get to where he’s at. People can relate to it, because honestly, a lot of his music isn’t the best. That’s just my opinion. At the same time, I understand why somebody could relate to his story. Anyway, the vocals they put on the Controversy Sells album was old throwaway stuff. When I left [Paid In Full], I took my music with me. It made me real mad when I heard it, because I didn’t think there was any Paul Wall and Chamillionaire songs left. Then I hear Paul rapping over an old verse of mine, shooting little shots at me. I’m supposed to be quiet about this? For a while, me and Paul wasn’t cool, but I was telling everybody we were. I knew the power of my words. If I say, “We ain’t cool,” it’s divide and conquer. People OZONE AUGUST 2005

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Ozone Mag #37 - Aug 2005  

Ozone Mag #37 - Aug 2005

Ozone Mag #37 - Aug 2005  

Ozone Mag #37 - Aug 2005

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