Chamillionaire: Why The Mixtape Messiah Just Stopped

Over the past decade the mixtape

game has taken major leaps and bounds. With the internet playing a key

role in free distribution artists like Lil’ Wayne have been able to

keep a constant buzz in our ears by the click of a mouse. No stranger

to this game is Hakeem Seriki better known as “King Koopa” Chamillionaire.

Releasing mixtapes since the dawn of the internet-hop age providing  the base for two major release, a grammy, and five million in ringtone

sales. Simply said, Chamillionaire has found a foundation through the

tape.

In 2004 King Koopa released

the monumental Mixtape Messiah

ushering in over 100,000 downloads establishing himself as a top prospect

in the mixtape ring and budding a legendary series. Now, in 2009 Chamillionaire

is ready to put the series to rest with the latest and final installment

Mixtape Messiah 7. AllHipHop.com caught up with the Houston bred

rapper to pick apart the brain of a mixtape messiah and forecast the

future for all things Chamillitary.

AllHipHop.com: It’s

only been a short while since the final disk of Mixtape Messiah 7

dropped. How has the response been being that there was such a large

backing from your fans for the final installment?

Chamillionaire: Oh man the response has been really

crazy man. The responses have been filling up all my messages and all

my accounts from MySpace to everything. I know it’s having a big impact

on a lot of my fans because I’m seeing people having it and bootleggin’

it to CD and they’re trying to get me to sign it and everything, that

doesn’t happen. I kind of knew what I was doing when I dropped it

and I knew my fans would really like it because I really wanted to go

out with a bang. Overall, the majority of people are saying that they

loved it, they’re thanking me, and they don’t want to see it go

and all that type of stuff. But I’m done, it’s a wrap.

AllHipHop.com: It

is a wrap, the final installment. What do you want your fans to

look back on when they think about the Mixtape Messiah series?

Chamillionaire:

I think it would be the level of quality and the amount of material

that I tried to put out. I started off [the series] with a three disc

you know what I mean, so it shows that I tried to come in with a lot

of content and a lot of material. A lot of times this is what people

are basing my career off of because to them these are like albums because

I’ve been doing these so long. Without the mixtapes then you just

have albums, so with this [series] they can say, “Well Cham doesn’t

drop that many albums but at least he drops a lot of mixtapes.” So

with that we’re gonna be releasing a lot of music but I plan to replace

them with real music instead of jacking everybody’s beats [for the

mixtapes]. I can’t do everything I want to do with these songs. I

hope they just remember the quality and how much I gave them. I think

I went and did a lot more than most average artists do. I did in stores,

I did parties, I did concerts, and everything off these mixtapes. A

lot of artists don’t even do that.

AllHipHop.com: Now

that we have an understanding of what you want the fans to remember

what will you remember? What did you take out of the series, was it

a learning experience in some way?

Chamillionaire:

I think it was more of a learning experience for me man. The mixtapes

are like training for me and that’s how I always will know what my

fans are gonna like. I’ve been putting out mixtapes for so long that

when I put them out I can kind of gauge and know where everyone starts

gravitating towards certain records on the tape. That’s really what

it was all about, just trying to learn about my fans and see what they

like. So that’s why I can go into a major label and argue with them

about a single and be like, “Yo, they’re not gonna like this.”

I feel like I know them now because I’ve been doing this for so long

so I can guage what they like. The argument is that these majors will

try to make me a change for a different kind of fan and that’s where

the problem comes in. If you’ve been working on this one face for

these fans for a long time and then people tell you to forget about

this fan and go get these other fans then there’s a problem. Majors

tend to tell artists that a lot and I’m not really down with that.

So now it’s just focusing on making more music for all fans. Simple

as that, I just want it to be dope and have everyone appreciate it.

AllHipHop.com: Speaking

of label pressure were you ever a victim where execs wanted to take

the Mixtape Messiah series to a major release level simply because of

the success it was having?

Chamillionaire:

Nah, I mean there’s sometimes little issues because of the things

popping up on iTunes but you always have the majors trying to shut stuff

down. I never really cared, when I do the mixtapes I have a “there’s

nothing you can do about it” attitude. There’s nothing that they

did that pressured me to stop releasing. It’s just kind of like, I’ve

been doing this for ten years man and I feel like I’ve done everything

I could possibly do with the mixtapes. If I jump into another mixtape

tomorrow how much more is that gonna do for me? What is that gonna do?

It’s time to move on and do something else.

AllHipHop.com: Why

do you think everything as a whole was so successful?

Chamillionaire:

I think it was just a certain rebelliousness man, it was against the

grain. When I first came in with the mixtape circuit I did something

that was rebellious. Even when “Ridin’ Dirty” came out that was

rebellious. It wasn’t like pick your hot artist and pick your hot

producer. It was Krayzie Bone [producing] and it fit and it was rebellious

and I think people a lot of the time want stuff like that. When I came

into the mixtapes I was always like, “F a major label,” when everyone

else was tryna get signed to a major label. Then I ended up getting

signed to one (laughs).

AllHipHop.com: A

lot of fans see your stronger body of work in your mixtapes rather than

the albums. Are you okay with that?

Chamillionaire:

If I was then I’d probably still be doing the mixtapes [still]. I

know what I’m capable of so let me take 100% of my time and take that

towards making sure my albums and that stuff that I’m releasing in

stores is up to par. That way a fan is not always being like, “your

mixtapes are dope but your albums aren’t.” Nah dope is dope. I can

be dope in any form so that’s what I’m doing. If I spend 85% of

my time in the studio for this many years doing mixtapes and then I

spend 15% doing real songs which do you think I’m gonna be better

at? So now it’s about taking 100% of my time and using that towards

real songs. That way I’m playing on the same battlefield that everyone

else is on.

AllHipHop.com: Can

we separate Chamillionaire the mixtape messiah from Chamillionaire on

the album tip?

Chamillionaire:

That’s what I’m trying to do, merge them into one person. There

definitely separate and two different things but the mixtape game is

a different hustle. I can’t be mad because the average fan that’s

watching they don’t know. At the end of the day whatever happens they

blame it on the person’s name that’s on the CD, they don’t know

the politics these rappers go through. Labels are trying to change people,

they send you songs that you don’t fit on, and try to force you to

get on them telling you that its good for you, and then they start cutting

budgets if you don’t listen. The business part really messes up the

creative part. I always say that majors don’t care. They just care

about business and making money, not creativity. From artists you always

complain about that because you want the creative part to be perfect

when that product goes into the marketplace because you want it to be

you. The people at the labels feel safe behind the walls because they

don’t have to take the bullet so they’ll try to tell you what’s

hot and if it doesn’t work they’re gonna blame it on you anyways.

AllHipHop.com: You’ve

gained a lot of fans and turned a lot of heads with the series to the

point where people feel you are on a whole new tip –

Chamillionaire:

Yeah, but see that’s exactly why I’m doing this. The people that

are saying that are the people that don’t get to hear them. I can

only push those are far as I can push them, they go as far as they do

and they don’t go to the rest of the world. So no I’m trying to

make material that still sounds super good like that but just making

it bigger. So now I’m doing a new brand called Major Pain and when

this next release comes out it will be called an authorized leak CD.

So basically it will be real songs with real beats but it will be put

together how I put together my mixtapes. It might have scratching in

there it might have gun shots it might have everything but it won’t

have the same thought as a Mixtape Messiah tape. It will have

new thoughts and new fresh thoughts and it will be everywhere so people

can get it. An international fan can get it, an east coast fan can get

it, you know what I mean? This is not some major label thing with an

A&R and a budget but it’ll be in the stores and be distributed.

I’ll drop them once every three months and then the release where

I really focus on the best quality will drop every six months and those

will drop in between each major album.

AllHipHop.com: With

that much content on the ready a lot of people must be wondering what’s

up with the third album and when a release date will surface. Any details?

Chamillionaire:

The third album will be dropping fourth quarter. It’s not a problem

for me because I’ve always been the content guy. I’m not doing what

everybody else is doing, you know everbodys partying and what not but

me I’m just about the music. You open my drive right now and you’ll

see about 400 songs in there right now. I don’t think they’re wack

songs either, I think it’s just a lot of material in there. If something’s

wack I won’t keep it I’ll delete it and if not I’ll keep it. So

when it comes to making content I’m good but when it comes to the

major system it’s just slow. It’s not the artist moving slow it’s

the major system because they’ll only drop an album once every year,

like how many mixtapes have I dropped in the past year. It’s crazy,

we move way faster then them. So now if I’m not doing a mixtape imagine

how fast I’ll be coming with [original] songs.

AllHipHop.com: Even though it

may not seem like a long time ago, you came up in a different era of

Hip-Hop back in 2006 with your first major release, The Sound of

Revenge. Do you ever

feel you’re being played out of the game because of the topics in

Hip-Hop that are becoming relevant and popular in 2009? (i.e. Kid Cudi)

Chamillionaire:

Yeah, I know what you mean. But nah I definitely don’t feel that way.

You know why I don’t? Because I’m like a true chameleon man. That’s

what this whole thing is about now. The only way that I would get played

out is if I was doing the same old same old with all these people coming

out with these new sounds. There’s nobody that sounded like these

new dudes four years ago, you know what I’m saying? So now that this

new sound is becoming popular it’s all about reinventing yourself.

If you can reinvent yourself then you can stay fresh and relevant.

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