Chamillionaire might be the most strait-laced rapper alive. In the current issue ofBlender
magazine – featuring Pussycat Dolls lead singer Nicole Scherzinger on the cover, topless of course – the Jersey Village-reared Grammy winner and Swishahouse alumnus is queried in the mag’s back-page feature, “Who Does [Blank] Think He Is?
” Interviewees are also required to submit a self-portrait, so Cham draws a lizard holding a bag of cash because, he tells
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’s Tim Grierson, “it says I’m about my business.”
Chamillionaire says he uses all that green to, among other things, sometimes bail friends out of jail or pay their rent (“I might be a little too nice like that”), but that’s hardly the only place he comes off as the H-town rap community’s resident do-gooder. He says he’s never taken a drug in his life, doesn’t curse and usually winds up the designated driver because he never has more than two drinks: “I hate how people get sloppy and fall all over the place when they drink.”
This teetotalism may seem strange coming from someone who had a major national hit two years ago with “Ridin’,” a shortening of the popular street slang term “ridin’ dirty,” which means to operate a motor vehicle while in possession of a controlled substance, whether alcohol (“lean”), marijuana (“dro”) or something else. In fact, Cham’s two verses are all about he’s not ridin’ dirty, though the cops tend to believe otherwise: “Thinkin’ they’ll catch me on the wrong, well keep tryin’, ‘cause they denyin’ it’s racial profiling.” His partner in rhyme Krayzie Bone, however, indulges to the hilt: “Doin’ a hundred while I puff on the blunt, and rollin’ another one up, we livin’ like we ain’t givin’ a fuck.”
Chamillionaire’s new album, Ultimate Victory (Chamillitary/Universal Motown), loaded with similarly sharp streetwise commentary, was released last month and is currently No. 73 on the Billboard 200, No. 23 on the R&B/Hip-Hop album chart and No. 10 among this week’s Hot Rap Albums. In other Houston chart action, UGK’s “Int’l Playas Anthem,” featuring OutKast, holds steady at No. 21 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop singles tally, while Beyonce’s “Get Me Bodied” rises one spot to No. 33. – Chris Gray