Beaches Be Trippin\': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Beaches Be Trippin': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Arts & Culture: Let’s face it, most of us Lone Stars view the Texas coast as a poor man’s Waikiki. Hell, maybe just a poor man’s Panama Beach — only to be used... By Callie Enlow 7/10/2013
8 Cultural Gems on the North Side

8 Cultural Gems on the North Side

City Guide 2014: “Outside the Loop” is used as a pejorative by Downtown-centric cool kids, but oases of culture can be found in the sprawling suburbs of the North Side.... By Dan R. Goddard 2/24/2014
Chris Pérez, Selena’s Husband, Faces His Past and Looks Forward, Musically

Chris Pérez, Selena’s Husband, Faces His Past and Looks Forward, Musically

Music: Chris Pérez never saw it coming. “All I ever wanted to do was play guitar,” he told the Current. “I never thought I’d be the subject of an interview... By Enrique Lopetegui 8/28/2013
Free Things to Do: Kid-friendly

Free Things to Do: Kid-friendly

Free Guide: It’s almost summer, which means that your government-subsidized free daycare (aka public school) goes on hiatus thanks to an archaic allegiance to a rural agriculture economic system that hasn’t been in play for decades. What to do with the wee ones whining 5/21/2014
Chris Perez, husband of slain Tejana icon Selena, tells of romance, suffering

Chris Perez, husband of slain Tejana icon Selena, tells of romance, suffering

Arts & Culture: In one of the final chapters of his book To Selena, With Love (out March 6), Selena's widower Chris Perez mentions that Abraham Quintanilla, his former father-in-law, once... By Enrique Lopetegui 3/7/2012

Search hundreds of restaurants in our database.

Search hundreds of clubs in our database.

Follow us on Instagram @sacurrent

Print Email


Houston's Chamillionaire rides free

Photo: Courtesy photo, License: N/A

Courtesy photo

Everything that's great about Houston rapper Chamillionaire can be found in a single video he posted to Ustream last January. On the streaming service (it's like YouTube, but live), the 32-year-old architect of "Ridin'" spoke directly to fans (and media) about rumors that his relationship with Universal Records had soured and that his forthcoming Venom was on the fritz.

"We know there are Justin Beiber's of the world and Lady Gaga's of the world and they are perfect in their lane," he said, diplomatically. "They are excellent at what they do, but all of y'all know that I am not that person."

A likely story from a Texas rapper, considering the Dallas and Houston communities cater to artist solvency much more than other cities. In other words, making Texas rap that is even remotely mainstream isn't necessary, a fact made clear by 2002's Get Ya Mind Correct. The album, self-released by Paul Wall and Chamillionaire, sold over 100,000 copies, a highly profitable figure when sold independently.

But being unwilling to go "pop" was just one of Chamillionaire's many reasons for parting with Universal. Though he glazed over specifics, he painted a darkly comic picture of artist-label relationships. "Probably 90 percent of all these artists [in the industry] are owing the record company a lot of money," he said on the Ustream video. "So the guys that are jumping with the chains and the bottles and the whips and the rent-a-cars, they owe the record company and have to pay [them] back."

Chamillionaire spoke extemporaneously (which is intellectual kryptonite for most musicians), plainly discussing the terms of his label departure (he gave up all rights to Venom) and calling upon creative fans to send their credentials to him as he prepared to deliver a string of mixtapes in 2011. He offered to take a chance on as-yet-undiscovered producers, vocalists, musicians and graphic designers and to pay them so long as they could work with him quickly, and he discussed plans to give away commemorative plaques associated with his deep catalog of mixtapes. He mentioned that he was a little tired of the usual mixtape method of rapping over other artists' music — mixtapes are somewhere between a covers and remix album in that they feature new verses over (at least locally) established music — but that he would gladly record more if that's what fans wanted.

Several times he used the word "content" to discuss his work, which is the dirtiest of words among creative professionals (those that understand the word's business connotations, anyway). He was speaking as a businessman. Forty minutes of this, Chamillionaire giving the rap version of a fireside chat, asking fans to not just support his new business ventures, but also participate in his artistic process and giving them the benefit of the doubt in accepting their creative advice. Moreover, he delivered the message with the urgency of a Navajo Code Talker transmission.

We welcome user discussion on our site, under the following guidelines:

To comment you must first create a profile and sign-in with a verified DISQUS account or social network ID. Sign up here.

Comments in violation of the rules will be denied, and repeat violators will be banned. Please help police the community by flagging offensive comments for our moderators to review. By posting a comment, you agree to our full terms and conditions. Click here to read terms and conditions.
comments powered by Disqus