We caught up w/ Houston rapper Chamillionaire who has been making a lot of noise as of late, not just for him reuniting with childhood friend and fellow Paul Wall after 7 years and going on tour, but also because he’s been making some behind the scenes moves into the tech world. In fact much of our conversation centered around us discussing ways in which rap stars can move away from simply setting up record companies and use their creative ingenuity to set up the next Google or Youtube.
“It’s not always about making money with these companies, sometimes its about getting information so later down the road you can make money”, Chamillionaire noted. He explained that in the age of music going digital rappers need to be thinking outside the box and trying to figure out other ways to leverage their brand and resources above and beyond simply selling records and merchandise.
We talked to Chamillionaire about how he stays on his grind and asked if he saw any differences in the way the Bay Area makes it happen compared to our sister city of Houston which shares a strong independent rap scene. He noted that one can definitely tell when they are in the Bay Area. The music and overall swagger is unique on to itself. However, the people’s work ethics and drive to succeed on their own terms are pretty similar. He noted how Paul Wall and Bay Area rapper Tha Jacka had just departed the tour bus as I arrived to go shoot their own videos. Chamillionaire marveled at the way folks collab with each other and
Along that vein we chopped up it up about the large yet often overlooked Latino/Brown Hip Hop scene in Texas. Chamillionaire noted that he was impressed how large it was and how some artists coming from Brown communities are killing it in terms of the people they can reached. he talked about Houston rapper SPM and how succesful he was while many withing ‘mainstream’ Hip Hop circles were clueless. Chamillionaire talked about how some of his songs are popular in brown communities and the influence is so strong that he’s started rapping some of the songs in Spanish which he puts on his mixtapes.
We also talked about mixtape game and whether or not they were still relevent in today’s climate. We also chopped it about whether he would continue doing his ‘Mixtape Messiah‘ series. He noted that after 10 years he decided to retire that series and launch a new one called ‘Major Pain‘.
We concluded our interview by talking to Chamillionaire about his upcoming album called Venom where he explained that he wanted to move away from being ‘political correct’ topics and explore more edgy type of material . “I wanted to be a bit rebellious on the album”, He noted.
Chamillionaire also laid out who he feels are some of the most important rappers in Texas that we should be paying attention to as well as his favorite songs including ‘Turn It Up’ and ‘Hip Hop Police’.
Below are the links to our two part Breakdown FM Podcast.
Below is another interview that our friends from Check the Levels out in Austin did with Chamillionaire during SXSW