In between dropping Internet mixtapes and plotting a tour with Paul Wall, Chamillionaire has been prepping the release of his third album, Venom, due later this year. Calling it his “dopest work,” the Houston rapper says the project hasn’t been without its creative hurdles.
“My biggest obstacle is trying to keep the music pure to what I want to release. I don’t want any corporate suit telling me what story to tell,” Chamillionaire tells VIBE. “If you look on the top of iTunes, it’s a lot of ‘Boom Boom Pow,’ Black Eyed Peas, Lady Gaga. [The label executives] want rap to sound like that and I refuse.”
Chamillionaire dropped his 2005 debut, The Sound of Revenge, at a time when the Houston rap movement–grills, chopped and screwed and all–was in full swing. But he promises that this next album will continue the evolution of Ultimate Victory.
“Being from Texas, I can’t come back and be like, I have a grill now. People already heard that story a thousand times,” says Cham. “The other day I told a story about how I got dissed by Michael Jordan and it went everywhere. I didn’t expect it to be that big. That was the real humane side that people got to see and they really embraced it. But that’s only like one twentieth of the stuff that I been through.”
Music isn’t all that’s up his sleeve. Besides investing in tech companies, Cham is also developing his own digital venture. “I’m working with some companies that people already use. I have a piece of [companies] that are already out,” he says. “If you look at companies like Twitter, Google, all these companies started with ideas and then everybody used it. In my world, people don’t think like that. Rappers chase the next check. They become a slave to labels and eventually that money starts shrinking.” —Clover Hope