The Carroll News had the chance to catch up with Chamillionaire, whose legal name is Hakeem Seriki, and ask him about what the future holds, particularly this summer, for his career.
HS: I think Drake is not gonna disappoint. He’s got Jay on there, you know? I just think he’s dope. Some people just listen to him ‘cause his song’s on the radio, it starts getting commercial, you know? But I think he’s gonna show up. Also, Eminem, he’s gonna make a new album that’ll be dope. Kanye too, man! People hate on him because of the whole Taylor Swift thing, but I think he did it on purpose anyways.
CN: So, you’ve had Ultimate Victory and Mixtape Messiah 7 come out, what’s up next?
HS: Venom is coming, but we had a lot of pushbacks with that. The reason why is because the labels always want to crop the albums to what they want it to be for the artists. They always start turning their projects into something else. All these people come in, sign ‘em for one thing and try to change ‘em into another thing. That’s the reason why I haven’t come out yet. I want to tell my story. I didn’t work this long to get here to tell someone else’s story. So, Venom is coming soon it’s scheduled for June 22nd. That’s the same day Eminem is dropping so I don’t know if I want to drop that day!
CN: Do you just keep building your fanbase as you travel from campus to campus?
HS: Exactly! They got everything in here – they got the lighting right, they got candles in here! That’s the way it works. When I had my first album I actually did a BET black college tour. I started from every city. We weren’t even getting paid we were doing it for free. It worked because it built my fanbase.
CN: What was it like starting your music career with Paul Wall?
HS: Me and Paul, we used to live next to each other, so we kind of grew up together. It just started off like I was rapping, and we didn’t want him coming around just bugging us! Eventually he started getting pretty good and we realized he was pretty cool. Next thing you know we became a group. After all the independent records sold and we’re pretty much household names locally, we just decided to split up. We were just growing into two different people. When we were younger it didn’t matter but as we got older, we started having little problems, conflicts, arguing and everything. Then once we got to the majors we were definitely separate at that time. Everyone was putting us against each other, and we both had success. Now we come back around and we were doing a tour we just got off of, me and him, and it was pretty successful.
CN: We’ve never been in the music business, but watching it, it seems like when you’re doing well you keep doing well. But if things aren’t going well how do you get your career going again?
HS: The best thing you could do is give out content – a lot of content. Because, let’s say people like Charday, people in other genres – Maxwell, Janet Jackson – they’re takin’ their time. But rappers? You got to feed them with content because there are just so many rappers out there, it’s hard to see through all the BS. You have to feed them the content but you gotta be good at it. There’s a lot of people that put out a thousand raps and stuff. If you actually good, and you putting out a lot? I think that’s what Lil Wayne’s thing is. When I was at Universal, they were telling me and Nelly not to be on anybody else’s stuff but Wayne wasn’t listenin’ to that he was jumpin’ on everybody’s stuff!