Chingy: All Ballers Don’t Bounce

Some critics of Chingy would’ve never believed that the former St. Louis teen-star would be one day delivering a third album on a major label. Perhaps like Cassidy, Chingy has evolved from a rapper birthed in a bubblegum fanbase, driven to the battle, then returning to his Pop sensibilities. As “Pulling Me Back” became a hit single of the star, Hoodstar may pull Chingy back to the forefront of mainstream rap.

Since he burst onto the scene in 2004 and 2005, Chingy has suffered some internal questions. His entourage-turned supporting rappers, Ghetto Boyz, claimed that the rapper had taken their publishing. Meanwhile, as the Nelly conflict resolved, others have whispered that many of Luda’s nameless jabs may be directed at the Disturbing Tha Peace defector. Chingy gets a chance to comment on these issues, as well as speak his peace about a widely discussed stage scene at the Adult Video News Awards. While Chingy’s music has often been kid-friendly, this feature’s for grown folks. Peep. Between Powerballin’ and Hoodstar, there’s a two-year gap. What was going on with you within that time?

Chingy: I still was working, man, I still was on the road and we just had to get some business straight like between the label and management. But I still was on the road working. I did a [Scary Movie 4] and I was setting up my record company Slot-A-Lot Records and getting business straight. I still was workin’ I was never just off doin’ nothin’. Would you consider making a transition into acting?

Chingy: I like the acting, but my thing is that I’d be trying to put together movies of my own. Like with the experience I had auditioning and not getting the part, I hate that. I would continue to do that if it’s a role I liked, but like right now, I’m in the development of writing scripts with my people and putting together scripts of my own. For you first two albums you focused on being at the forefront but do you wish that you had known more when you had put out your first two albums? Because then maybe you wouldn’t have felt the way you did when that situation happened with DTP…

Chingy: I wish I knew more about the business side then but I was just getting in it. I was more [about] enjoying having fun [and] living my dream. I didn’t understand [for the first album, but around my second album that’s when it became me being more involved and wanting to understand the business, because I didn’t want to get jerked around. If something [were to] go wrong then I didn’t want it to go to somebody else who is making me do wrong, I want them to blame me. I would rather be blamed for my mistakes rather than somebody else be blamed for my mistakes. When it came to your personal mission statement, did it change with every album that you made?

Chingy: Jackpot was really about makin’ some money and sellin’ some records ‘cause that was my goal, and it was one on them “introducing me” albums. Powerballin’ was more “okay, now that I’ve had a little success, lets have a lil’ fun and splurge a lil’ bit, and just enjoy the success I’ve been havin’.” And with this album, the third album, Hoodstar, [it’s] really about “okay, I come from the hood and dealing with my trials and tribulations with comin’ from the hood, and jugglin’ success.” It’s just basically all about not forgettin’ where I come from. I don’t try to compare each album I do, I don’t go to the studio and try to be like, “Well, I need to make this album better than the last album.” I just try to work hard and try to come up with good music and put out a good album you know? ‘Cause if I focus on trying to make this album better than the last one, I might not make it better than the last one because I’m focusing on that too much. I just go in there and do what I do and pretty much try to come out with some hits. Besides the business, is there something else that you would have done differently?

Chingy: I didn’t really have a lawyer. So that’s one thing I would have changed, I would have had an entertainment lawyer. And I would have been more involved in my career from the start. That’s the only thing I would have changed at that point because everything was going fine but I wasn’t more involved in my career to know what’s goin’ on, so that was basically the problem. In the entertainment business, there’s the highest peak and then there’s the lowest of the low. Would you say that you’ve seen both sides of the music industry so far?

Chingy: I can say I’ve seen both sides because the highest is you enjoying your success and trying to reach your high point. The lowest is someone trying to bring you down and try to take advantage of you, and not want to see you get to the top. So I can say I’ve seen the highest and the lowest as far as my mind is concerned. Let’s talk about the feud between you and Ghetto Boyz. What happened?

Chingy: They weren’t the real Ghetto Boyz. They were some friends of mine that I been known, and basically they were talking to somebody… I don’t know what they told em. Some guy they didn’t even know had put in their heads that they [were] supposed to be gettin [a certain] amount of money. But they didn’t have a record deal or nothin’. I was trying to get ’em a record deal and I was payin’ them a fee. The thing is like, with ASCAP and your publishing [as an artist], that’s something they didn’t talk care of in the beginning. I told them to take care of that because I don’t take care of that for them. Just like I took care of my ASCAP and everything before I got a deal so it was already there. And that’s the same thing they supposed to did. And they thought I owed them money. It’s not my fault that if a song played on the radio that they’re featured on they don’t get their publishing or ASCAP or whatever because they didn’t register they names with the company. So somebody got into their heads and they tried to do a lawsuit and it didn’t go through for ’em ’cause they was in the wrong. You know what I mean? They messed up a good situation all over that and [they] was friends of mine. So that’s basically what happened right there. They did say that when you were making x amount of dollars per show, that you paying them below minimum wage…

Chingy: You on the road and there’s five people on stage. I’m paying them like $500 a piece, a show. Now for one, I had the record deal and you shouldn’t even be in my pocket. It’s average people that don’t see $500 a day, they don’t even see $500 a week. So that was all bull crap ’cause they was doing fine. I’m the one that brought you in this. You can’t try to be like me and you don’t even have a deal yet! You can’t be in my pocket. I surprise you with a job, keeping you off the street you know what I’m saying? Basically, you were making them apart of your expense when you didn’t even need to…

Chingy: When we go out, everything they do is paid for and not even counting the money I was giving them for not even doing shows. You know what I’m saying? So they was just real ungrateful and they just messed a good situation up and I believe they know that because they doin’ nothin’ now. One last question. Do you remember a chick named Vanity at the Adult Video News Awards?

Chingy: [That was] just some bull crap. I performed at them awards, and the director had told me before I went on stage to just call all them porno stars on stage while we performing. ‘Cause that’s the thing they always did at them award shows. That’s what I did while I was performing. And for them other things they said while I was performing, that was some [other] bull crap. I don’t know what they talkin’. They was talkin’ about some transvestite and all this bull crap… it’s a gang of women on stage, I wasn’t paying no attention to them, for real. I was just performing. All that other stuff, I don’t know what they talking about.

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