Chamillionaire has severed ties with Universal Records, his label of the past six years. The melodically gifted Houston rapper released his major-label debut, The Sound of Revenge, in 2005 through a partnership between his Chamillitary Entertainment imprint and Universal Music Group.
Revenge spawned Chamillionaire's Grammy-winning single, "Ridin'." His second go-round, Ultimate Victory, followed in 2007. Third time wasn't exactly the charm, as Venom, was constantly delayed, scrapped, revamped and eventually shelved.
Details of the split are still emerging, but we know three things so far:
- Someone at Universal wanted Chamillionaire to wag his tail at the pop table.
- Chamillionaire refused to wag his tail at said table.
- Chamillionaire will no longer be able to release Venom or any other material recorded at Universal.
Chamillionaire and Universal have been locked in a creative control dispute for some years now. As the tussle intensified, Chamillionaire shifted his attention to a different battle: Fighting to jump off a frozen ship. So, a battle to secure a release for his album became a battle to secure a release from his label.
With all that battling going on, King Koopa was forced to starve his subjects.
"The reason why I haven't released any music for a while is because I was trying to get off of Universal," Chamillionaire explained to AllHipHop.com. "For a while I felt like I was fighting against the machine that was supposed to be supporting me."
After the news broke, fans took to Twitter to express their mix of delight over Chamillionaire's independence and disappointment over the shelving of Venom. To ease their pain, Chamillionaire is prepping a new series dubbed Playlist Poison.
Cham's label struggle hasn't slowed him down. Wednesday night, he stopped by Fox 26 to enlighten aspiring artists on the patience it takes to succeed.
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"It took me a long time," Chamillionaire told Melinda Spaulding on the 9 p.m. newscast. "I didn't really start having a lot of global success until the last three or four years of my career. I've been doing this for over a decade."
He added that it's necessary to see progress in your efforts. "Some people sit here and rap or sing all day but don't see any kind of progress. They just keep at it because they love it. But you should want to see some progress. That's how you know you're doing something good."
The lead cut from Playlist Poison, "When Ya On," is now available on iTunes.