Known To His Parents As:
BornNovember 28th, 1979 in Houston, TX
Also Known As
- King Koopa
- Mixtape Messiah
- Chamillionaire grew up under two disparate religions. His dad used to sneak Cham to the mosque, while his mom would later smuggle him into Bible Study.
Chamillionaire's Early Life:
Born to a Muslim father and Christian mother, secular music wasn't an option in the Seriki household. Following his parents separation, young Hakeem moved to a low-income neighborhood in the notorious North Side of Houston. It was a move that would eventually jumpstart his rap career.
Color Changin' Click:
While doing promotional runs for other southern artists, 17 year old Chamillionaire bumped into Swishahouse CEO Michael "5000" Watts. Watts started mentoring the young rapper, putting him on various mixtapes. Cham later switched to Paid in Full Records, where he and Paul Wall released the collaborative Get Ya Mind Correct--an album that sold 100,000 copies without major distribution. The duo was part of a five-man group known as the Color Changin' Click.
The Mixtape Messiah:
Following some creative differences, Cham severed ties with Paul, and continued to crank out mixtapes on his own. Prior financial battles with Swishahouse and a quest for sole control of his ends bolstered Koopa's CEO aspirations, and eventually gave rise to Chamillitary Records. Universal quickly took notice of his prominence within the mixtape circuit.
The Sweet Sound of Revenge:
On November 22, 2005, Chamillionaire dropped his major debut The Sound of Revenge. Based on the strength of Scott Storch-laced single "Turn It Up" and the Krayzie Bone-assisted "Ridin'", The Sound of Revenge earned Cham a platinum plaque. While "Turn It Up" peaked at #41, the Play-N-Skills-produced "Ridin'" enjoyed a 2-week reign on Billboard Hot 100.
Chamillionaire is now focused on developing his brother and protege Rasaq, who is also signed to Chamillitary Records.
In His Own Words:
"I feel like music needs to wake you up and be that breath of fresh air. I guess UGK would always do that for me. I have always liked Bun B and Pimp C because they had two different styles, but their music always matched and they made good music together." (Interview with Allhiphop.com)