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Hakeem Seriki (born November 28, 1979 in Washington, D.C.) better known by his stage name Chamillionaire (pronounced Ka-MIL-yin-air, Template:IPAEng, a portmanteau of "chameleon" and "millionaire") is a Grammy Award-winning American rapper (and often singer) from Houston, Texas and the CEO of Chamillitary Entertainment. He stated that his aim is to prove that the South can produce quality lyricists. He is also a hook writer and usually sings and harmonizes with himself (using multi-tracked vocals) on his own hooks. Chamillionaire is a founder and original member of The Color Changin' Click, which houses rappers such as his brother Rasaq, 50/50 Twin, Lew Hawk, Yung Ro, and Paul Wall. In 2007, he won a Grammy Award for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group for his number-one single "Ridin'", a number-one hit in the United States for two weeks in 2006. He is a former artist on Michael 5000 Watts' Swishahouse stable.
He also explained that he chose his stage name because of the fact that he is 'rich in style'. He used to go by just 'Chamillion', but later added '-aire'. Chamillionaire is known for his high-speed rhyme delivery, for example in the songs 'Southern Takeover' and 'Rider' from his first major album The Sound of Revenge, as well as his smooth melody hooks like in his single Grown and Sexy and the songs 'Pimp Mode' and 'The Ultimate Vacation' from his album Ultimate Victory.
Hakeem Seriki was born in Washington, D.C. and moved to Houston, Texas at the age of 4. As the eldest child in his household, he had to hold numerous jobs to care for his family, including stocking trucks and transporting blood and urine for a medical lab.
Chamillionaire has stated that he has been recording mixtapes as early as 1998. While promoting themselves in an event, he and 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 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, would go on to sell over 100,000 copies. The Source magazine named the album the independent album of the year around 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 #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; "Ridin'" reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100. Its video also was named "Best Rap Video" in the 2006 MTV Video Music Awards. 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, Rasaq, and many others.
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 "That Girl" by Frankie J and "Get Up" by Ciara.
2007–present: Ultimate Victory
Chamillionaire released his second mainstream album Ultimate Victory on September 18, 2007. Guest appearances included UGK, Krayzie Bone, Lil Wayne, Famous, Tony Henry, Devin the Dude, & 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 was "Won't Let You Down", featuring singer K-Ci of the R&B duo K-Ci & JoJo on the chorus. The song was later released as a "Texas Takeover Remix", featuring numerous other rappers from the state of Texas such as Slim Thug, Lil' Keke, Paul Wall, Mike Jones, UGK, Trae, and Z-Ro.
Chamillionaire recently signed back to Chamillitary Entertainment the rapper Yung Ro, a former member The Color Changin' Click. He is also planning to tour and is also planning a group album with Famous and Yung Ro called Money, Power, and Fame. Both of them will be working on solo albums to drop in the future after the group album. 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; however, as of April 1, 2008, Chamillionaire's own web site reads that the recording will be released sometime in 2008.
- 2005: "Turn It Up" (featuring Lil Flip)
- 2006: "Ridin'" (featuring Krayzie Bone)
- 2006: "Grown & Sexy"
- 2007: "Hip-Hop Police" (featuring Slick Rick)
- 2007: "Won't Let You Down"
- 2005: "Draped Up [Remix]" (Bun B featuring Lil' Keke, Slim Thug, Chamillionaire, Paul Wall, Mike Jones, Aztek, Lil' Flip, & Z-Ro)
- 2006: "Get Up" (Ciara featuring Chamillionaire)
- 2006: "That Girl" (Frankie J featuring Chamillionaire & Mannie Fresh)
- 2006: "Bet That" (Trick Daddy featuring Chamillionaire & Gold Rush)
- 2006: "King Kong" (Jibbs featuring Chamillionaire)
- 2007: "Doe Boy Fresh" (Three 6 Mafia featuring Chamillionaire)
- 2007: "I Know U Want That" (Big Tuck featuring Chamillionaire)
- 2008: "Diamonds Exposed" (Paul Wall featuring Chamillionaire & Lil Keke)
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