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Seriki's stage name Chamillionaire is a portmanteau of "chameleon" and "millionaire"He has been recording mixtapes since 1998.While self-promoting at an event, Seriki and fellow rapper Paul Wall met Michael "5000" Watts, a popular mixtape DJ from northern Houston. After proposing to do promotions for Watts's company Swishahouse, Chamillionaire and Paul Wall came to Watts's studio and convinced Watts to allow them to freestyle on an intro to Watts's radio show on Houston hip-hop radio station KBXX-FM. Watts, who himself was convinced to rap on the record, enjoyed the freestyle so much that he put the verses on one of his mixtapes. Soon, Seriki (performing as Chamillionaire) and Paul Wall became regular staples on Houston's mixtape circuit, appeared on several of Watts's mixtapes, and became permanent members of Swishahouse.Chamillionaire and Paul Wall soon started their own group, The Color Changin' Click. In 2002, Chamillionaire and Paul Wall collaborated for the album Get Ya Mind Correct, which went on to sell over 150,000 copies.The Source magazine nominated the album for independent album of the year in 2002.Chamillionaire and the Color Changin' Click, dubbed "Houston's answer to 50 Cent and his G-Unit posse", performed at the SXSW music festival in 2004.
2005-2006: The Sound of Revenge
Chamillionaire's first major solo release The Sound of Revenge was released through Chamillitary Entertainment and Universal Records on November 22, 2005. The album debuted and peaked at number 10 on the Billboard 200 album chart in the United States.The album's lead single was "Turn It Up", featuring Lil' Flip produced by Scott Storch, followed by "Ridin'", featuring Krayzie Bone of Bone Thugs-n-Harmony produced by Play-N-Skillz; "Ridin'" reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100.Its video also was named "Best Rap Video" in the 2006 MTV Video Music Awards.In 2007, he won a Grammy Award for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group for "Ridin'".He was previously signed with Michael 5000 Watts' Swishahouse label.Comedic performer "Weird Al" Yankovic made a parody of the song, titled "White and Nerdy", for his own album Straight Outta Lynwood.The third single from the album was "Grown and Sexy".
Additionally, the bonus track "Grind Time" was featured in the video game NBA Live '06.The album was certified platinum by the RIAA, and a chopped and screwed version, screwed by OG Ron C, was released in February 2006.Guest appearances for the album included Lil' Flip, Natalie, Krayzie Bone, Bun B, Lil Wayne, Pastor Troy, Killer Mike, Scarface, singer Billy Cook, and his brother Rasaq.
In January 2006, Chamillionaire entered a feud with BCD Music Group, a company that used to distribute his music, as BCD claimed that Chamillionaire was making slanderous remarks about the company in his songs. Consequently, Shila Mitra, a partner of BCD, fueled the feud further with her own diss track.Later in 2006, Chamillionaire was featured in the singles "Get Up" by Ciara, "That Girl" by Frankie J, "Bet That" by Trick Daddy, "King Kong" by Jibbs, and "Doe Boy Fresh" by Three Six Mafia in 2007.
2007Ė2008: Ultimate Victory
To promote his new album, Chamillionaire released Mixtape Messiah 3 as a prelude to his new album on July 18, 2007 at exactly 11pm Eastern Time on his website. Chamillionaire released his second mainstream album Ultimate Victory on September 18, 2007. Ultimate Victory was made without a single profanity said by Chamillionaire. On Ultimate Victory Chamillionaire said: "On my new album I'll keep it clean, and won't say the f word or the n word, and if I do, it will be replaced by normal everyday expressions, so nobody will ever know. Also, all the stuff I say on the mixtapes, I don't really mean it about sex, money or drugs like most rappers do." Guest appearances included UGK, Krayzie Bone, Lil Wayne, Famous (Lil Ken), Tony Henry, Devin the Dude and Lloyd. The first single was "Hip Hop Police", featuring Slick Rick, which both Chamillionaire and Slick Rick performed on the CBS television network program Late Show with David Letterman on September 14, 2007.The following single is "The Evening News."
Mixtape Messiah 4, the fourth title in Chamillionaire's Mixtape Messiah series, was initially set for release on December 18, 2007,but was released on August 27, 2008.
2008Ė2010: Final Mixtape Messiah, Venom, and Major Pain
In November 2008, Chamillionaire announced his plans for his third album, Venom, for release in early 2009.His sixth installment in the Mixtape Messiah series was to be a "prelude" to Venom.The first single off of Venom was initially planned to be "Creepin' (Solo)", which featured Ludacris and ended up reaching #1 on the Billboard Bubbling Under R&B/Hip-Hop Singles chart. However, it is unclear whether or not the song will be included on Venom after Chamillionaire canceled and then reinstated the album. He announced that Mixtape Messiah 7 would be the final installment of the "Mixtape Messiah" series and that he cancelled Venom to create different material for his third album. Chamillionaire awarded his final Mixtape Messiah 7 to 100 winners of a contest which he ran on his website. One of those winners was fellow rapper and Chamillionaire protege, E-Dawg (NJ), along with "Larry Hustle", aka Anonymayne.The first disc from Mixtape Messiah 7 was launched for free download on Aug 4, 2009 just after 11:30 pm EST, while Disc 2 was released on August 6, 2009 just after 2:00 am EST. The next day the next Disc 3 & 4 dropped making it a 66 track compilation.
On September 29, it was officially announced that Chamillionaire's third album would indeed be entitled "Venom" after a fan vote on his Web site. The first single from this upcoming album is titled "Good Morning". The album was scheduled to be released on June 22, 2010.
Chamillionaire appeared on the remix for Weezer's song "Can't Stop Partying", off of their album Raditude. He also joined Weezer for live performances as Lil Wayne, who is featured on the original version of the track, was convicted on gun possession charges and was unable to perform.
On December 11, 2009, Chamillionaire performed a set for "Fort Hood Community Strong", an event described as a day of "healing, fun and entertainment" for those placed at the Fort Hood military base who were affected by the shooting that took place on November 5, 2009, killing 13 people. Other performers at the event included Nick Jonas, Dana Carvey and Zac Brown Band.
On December 23, 2009, Chamillionaire announced via his YouTube page that he would be initiating a new mixtape series entitled "Major Pain" through his website by dropping a disc entitled Major Pain on February 2, 2010, it has been announced on Chamillionaire's Website that on April 18 "Major Pain 1.5" will be released
Due to the 2010 NBA All-Star Game taking place in Dallas, Texas, Chamillionaire released a new song, "The Main Event", on February 11, 2010 via free download. It features fellow Texas rappers Paul Wall, Slim Thug & Dorrough. "Every artist on the song with me has independent hustle and strength in the streets," he said. "It's an All-Star song, so what better place to shoot the video than All-Star Weekend, right here in our own backyard." It was later released to iTunes on June 8, 2010.
In June 2010, AOL News reported that Chamillionaire lost his home to foreclosure and owed the Internal Revenue Service $184,000 in taxes from 2007.
On Chamillionaire's official website, he stated "Right now the Venom album is set for March 16 and has been pushed back just like Lil Wayne's Rebirth, Game's Red album, and countless other hip hop albums that this happens to." The date was later pushed back to June 22, but was not released that day. Venom has been confirmed as cancelled as Chamillionaire has parted ways with Universal.
2011-Present: Departure from Universal Records and Playlist Poison
According to Kanye West's engineer and producer Andrew Dawson, Chamillionaire and Universal Records have parted ways. "Iíve been working a lot with Chamillionaire, because I produced some tracks for him. He got out of his deal with Universal [Records], which wasnít a good situation for either of them," revealed Dawson. "Him and I have an active producer agreement that is now null and void because they got caught in the legal shuffle, but Iím like, I just want the music to come out. Letís find a way to make it happen.í I was emailing him stuff back and forth when I was [with Kanye West] in Hawaii. Some big stuff will be coming out this next year, so Iím stoked to see it going." Cham also tweeted that heíll be doing a Ustream session on January 14 to discuss his future plans.
During his live UStream on January 14, 2011, Chamillionaire announced he was officially off of Universal Records. As part of this deal he is not allowed to release Venom or any material recorded during that time. He is currently working on a new series called Playlist Poison and will release tracks on a random basis. The first track of Playlist Poison was "When Ya On" which featured West coast rapper Nipsey Hussle,the second being "This My World" featuring Big K.R.I.T., the third track being entitled "Charlie Sheen" which is featuring Rock D & Killer Mike, and latest track being entitled "Passenger Seat" featuring Young Money's Short Dawg. He released a new mixtape, Major Pain 1.5 for free download from his website on April 18, and his upcoming third studio album will not be composed of his Playlist Poison releases.
Chamillionaire recently toured to the Middle East in support of U.S. Troops in Iraq and in Kuwait. Having his dad being Muslim and His Mom being Christan, Chamillionaire states that he Belives in God.
Chamillionaire co-owns Houston based auto dealer Fly Rydes with a partner, Ernest. He personally owns a tour bus company and his record label, Chamillitary Entertainment. Chamillionaire has since let Ernest take over the whole company. Chamillionaire also has worked with William Kemp, an entrepreneur from Houston, Texas on a project still in the works involving the purchasing of stocks and other ventures.
On November 4, 2009, Chamillionaire launched the Global Innovation Tournament 2009 at the Stanford Memorial Auditorium, Stanford University with Quincy Jones III as part of the Stanford Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders Seminar Series.
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