Hakeem Seriki aka Chamillionaire
Musician - Rap / Hip Hop
Jersey Village High School c/o 1998
BiographyThe Bottom Line Chamillionaire has become an integral part of the Houston rap scene, with catchy hooks and sinister flows, an inescapable force that's incredibly tight but busting out of the seams.
It's pretty rare, and at the same time, equally awesome to hear of an artist who rises to local stardom, gets a fair amount of more than decent offers from major labels like Def Jam, Warner Brothers, and Elektra, and declines them all. Partly to hold out for a better deal, partly to stay closer to the streets, partly just because he damn well can, Chamillion is a cat that flows to his own rhythm, only sometimes -- like a lot of underground artists -- not to his own beats.
There are significant and costly downsides to remaining independent and underground, but the credibility, accessibility, and humility (don't worry, I'm done with the "ilities"...for now) that are attained with staying "major without a major deal" are far better than the rewards, from what "King Koopa" has found. He goes by a crapload of names, from Chamillion to Chamillionaire to Koopa to King Koopa to Tha Color Changing Lizard to the Mixtape Messiah, but regardless of the moniker he currently is sporting, the man just wrecks tracks hard like Mack Trucks after a case of Bud Light. You can find him in clubs all around Houston, and once in a while venturing to Austin, San Antonio, and Dallas; when he's feeling particularly crazy, he visits "The Boot" of Louisiana. However, his reach is far, mostly by word of mouth and an insane street team that has fans broadcasting support from Ohio to San Diego to New York (where major labels are always trying to court him).
Mixtape Messiah, the most anticipated and developed compilation Koopa has yet to work on. It is over a year in the making, with an insane amount of promotion, all of which is grassroots-style campaigning
Paul Wall, his longtime friend since childhood, someone he has literally been playing and working with since elementary school on the block. Koopa, like Magnificent of the Swisha House, has such a distinct enunciation and melodic style to his songs and hooks that can be recognized within a few words once you are familiar with it. It has made him one of the most highly regarded prospects from the North Side of Houston, which makes for a lot of baffled fans and listeners as to why he has yet to sign a major deal. However, like Paul, he has chosen to take the high road and to not hastily sign a deal just because it's put in front of him: he wants to wait for the right time, the right amount of money (obviously), the right people to work with, and the right feel of the deal. It's pretty highly rumored that he would only release Mixtape Messiah after he pushed it to a label and got a deal he wanted.
He has been one of the core members of the Color Changin' Click (CCC, founded by the one and only King Koopa himself), and has been featured on countless Swisha House Freestyle mix CDs and album releases, along with Boss Hogg Outlawz CDs (E.S.G., Slim Thug), Lil' Flip Undergrounds, and shit, just too many to name. He's around the Houston scene as much as Scarface, but instead of the Rap-A-Lot Records exposure, Koopa has the rap a lot and wreck tracks exposure of killing anything he touches.
Although it's fairly likely that Cham has either recently signed a deal to be worked out and finalized with a major label like Interscope, Roc-A-Fella or Universal -- those are the three most rumored to have been courting Cham, he'll continue to keep the underground and local grassroots support because of how he came up and stayed real, choosing to keep things on a smaller scale to better involve and relate to all the fans instead of selling out to a major and going commercial like, ahem, Jadakiss (boooo!).
Still, it goes without saying that whoever joins on the increasingly trendy bandwagon of supporting Chamillionaire is not scoffed at by those already on the boat, but rather embraced and cheered on by furthering the cause. It's not an elitist thing, it's more of a mutual love for the dude, that keeps everyone in a tightly-knit community of fans.
(Taken from www.chamillionaire.ws)