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Hakeem Seriki (born November 28, 1979), better known by his stage name Chamillionaire, is a Grammy Award winning American rapper and singer and CEO of Chamillitary Entertainment and a founder and original member of The Color Changin' Click, He began his career independently with local releases in 2003, including collaboration album Get Ya Mind Correct with fellow Houston rapper Paul Wall. He signed to Universal Records in 2005 and released The Sound of Revenge under Universal. It included hit singles "Turn It Up" and the number-one, Grammy-winning hit "Ridin'". Ultimate Victory followed in 2007. Chamillionaire is currently readying for his third major studio album release,Venom.

Early life

Chamillionaire was born Hakeem Seriki on November 28, 1979 in Washington D.C.marker and later moved to Houston, Texasmarker when he was 4. His father is a Muslim Nigerianmarker immigrant and his mother is an African American Christian. He attended Eisenhower High School and transferred to Jersey Village High School to play in its basketball program, which he believed to be better than that of the former school.

Music career

Beginnings

Chamillionaire claims he has been recording mixtapes since 1998. Seriki's stage name Chamillionaire is a portmanteau of "chameleon" and "millionaire" 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, 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.

2005–2006: The Sound of Revenge

Chamillionaire's first major solo release The Sound of Revenge was released through Chamillitary Entertainment and Universal Records in November 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.

2007–2008: 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. Guest appearances included UGK, Krayzie Bone, Lil Wayne, Famous aka. 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."

Chamillionaire recently signed back to Chamillitary Entertainment the rapper Yung Ro, a former member The Color Changin' Click, but released him from Chamillitary Entertainment shortly after. His artist Famous released his debut on Chamillitary titled "Money, Power, and Fame". Chamillionaire will release the Tony Henry R&B project through the label Chamillitary Soul.

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.

2008–present: Final mixtape, third album

In November 2008, Chamillionaire announced his plans for his third album, Venom, for release in early 2009. His seventh 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 cancelled 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 released his final Mixtape Messiah 7 to winners of a contest. One of those winners was fellow rapper and Chamillionaire protege, E-Dawg (NJ), along with Baltimore Rapper "Larry Hustle", aka Anonymayne. The first disc from Mixtape Messiah 7 was launched 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 is scheduled to be released on February 2nd, 2010 .

On November 4, 2009, Chamillionaire launched the Global Innovation Tournament 2009 on November 4, 2009 at the Stanford Memorial Auditoriummarker, Stanford University with Quincy Jones III as part of the Stanford Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders Seminar Series.

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.

Other ventures

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.

Discography



Awards

References

External links




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