|Next Project:||Hate It or Love It (Dec 11)|
|Twitter:||Chingy on Twitter|
When teenagers graduate from high school and leave for college they intend on keeping their group of friends. Although when everyone takes a new step in life and priorities change, it can be extremely difficult to keep relationships strong.
When Chingy first signed to Ludacris’ Disturbing The Peace, he was merely a local rapper with an immense amount of potential. After releasing his platinum plus debut, Jackpot, Chingy graduated to star status and into the upper echelon of talent in the industry. Shortly thereafter, he parted ways with DTP headmaster and mentor, Ludacris, after a supposed “miscommunication.” Two mildly unsuccessful releases later and Chingy has rekindled his long lost friends and resigned with DTP.
During an interview with DJBooth’s DJ “Z,” Chingy explains what had to predicate his return to DTP, why he hates artists who are found on Youtube (hello Soulja Boy) and why Nelly choose not to collaborate on the hometown reppin’ cut, “St. Louis N*ggaz.”
Listen to the Interview
Chingy Interview Transcription
DJ Booth: What’s goin’ on ya’ll? It’s your boy “Z,” doin’ it real big and joining me inside the DJ Booth is a Midwest native who has returned to his roots and will be releasing his fourth solo project, “Hate It Or Love It,” off of DTP/Def Jam this December. Reppin’ the Lou and the Midwest, it’s my man, Chingy – how you doin’?
Chingy: Aw, man, I’m great – I’m live and in the flesh, you dig? I’m finishin’ up this project, “Hate It Or Love It,” I got a couple featured artists on it: Rick Ross, Anthony Hamilton, Trey Songz, Bobby Valentino, Amerie, Ludacris, Stef Jones. LT, my homeboy from Atlanta, did a lot of the production, and my KL did some production [too]. I got the title “Hate It Or Love It,” from my return to Disturbing tha Peace; so either you hate it or you love it. Whichever which you choose – and this is really for the haters – I’m still gonna maintain and do what I do, and for the ones who got love for me, I got love for them and I appreciate them. First single with Amerie, “Fly Like Me.” It’s a fun record, it’s really talkin’ about how I traveled the world, been a lot of places, seen a lot of women, but it’s this one woman that really attracts me, that’s got me head over heels for her, and one day she’s gonna possibly end up being my future wife.
DJ Booth: Amerie’s featured on a track like you mentioned, and she opens up the song with the line, “Now you’ve been around the world and you’ve seen a lot of girls/But ain’t never seen a girl look so fly like me.” So is that true, Chingy? Is Amerie hotter than every girl you’ve ever seen on tour?
Chingy: No, she’s not hotter than every girl I’ve ever seen.
DJ Booth: Is she up there?
Chingy: Amerie is pretty, but I’ve seen some girls that are prettier. Don’t get it twisted – she’s pretty. I’m not gonna lie about the situation; I ain’t gonna sit here and tell you, “Yeah, she’s the hottest thing on Earth, I haven’t seen anybody look better,” you know what I mean?
DJ Booth: [laughter] Well, you gotta keep it real – I appreciate that.
Chingy: But at the same time she is a pretty woman.
DJ Booth: She is very pretty. You mentioned “Hate It Or Love It,” the title of the new album – does that name suggest how you feel people will respond, not only to your situation, but also to your music? You’ve been established, fourth solo project – at this point either they’re on your bandwagon or not.
Chingy: That’s it, that’s how I look at it! Either you with me, or you’re not. Either you love me, or either you hate me –because I’ve dropped three albums, this is my fourth album. It’s not hurtin’ me ‘cause I’m gonna keep on doing what I’m doing. And for the ones who don’t like me and they hate me, they don’t know me to judge me, but we all know that people wanna judge you anyway, just because that’s just life.
DJ Booth: Let’s expand this conversation about, “Hate It Or Love It.” What is one thing you absolutely hate about the current state of the recording industry? ‘Cause it’s changed quite a bit since you first stepped on.
Chingy: One thing that I hate about it now, is it’s not exclusive anymore. You can get a little camera, go outside in front of a lake and put some music behind you and wiggle your leg, and make it a dance, and put it on Youtube, and you might get a record deal just because of it.
DJ Booth: That’s certainly what Soulja Boy did…
Chingy: And I’m not down on Soulja Boy, or even talkin’ about him. I’m just sayin’, the business is not exclusive like it used to be. The music industry used to be an exclusive business to where it was like a secret society to get in. But now it’s not like that. Now, if you got any catchy little song – it can be stupid, you can get signed off of it.
DJ Booth: All you need is a two-dollar microphone, copy of ProTools, a computer, and online access, you’re made. That’s it.
Chingy: That’s what I hate.
DJ Booth: I couldn’t agree more. But let’s flip the script here – what is one thing you absolutely love about the current state of the recording industry?
Chingy: I’m startin’ to see more togetherness, and more people uniting. Like, the other day I was at DJ Khaled’s remix shoot for “I’m So Hood,” and KRS-One was there, and he was in his room doing these, ”stop the violence” takes on the microphone. He said he’s about to put together another “Self Destruction” song with the new artist, and make it a whole movement. Because right now, if you look at it, if we don’t stand up for this hip hop thing, we may be headed to self-destruction. There’s some people in the streets and in this industry, that’s all they got, so we have to stand up for this whole hip hop thing.
DJ Booth: It’s interesting, last time we spoke we discussed how it’s so hard for artists from our area, the Midwest, to collaborate with one another, and just last week I heard your brand new song, “St. Louis,” with Huey and Gena. What was it like to collaborate with artists from the area and show everybody it’s not so hard to get down with people from the same city?
Chingy: Right. With that song, I sent it to Nelly, I sent it to Huey, because at the time Huey and Nelly had some type of feud going on. So I wanted to bring all three of us together on that song, but it didn’t happen. It didn’t work to show St. Louis that we can come together and stand up for our city. So, Huey got on the phone, but it’s a St. Louis anthem that I was tryin’ to get a point across with that song.
DJ Booth: You said you were tryin’ to make a point with the single, but do you think that without Nelly, knowing the history that you’ve had with him and Huey currently has with Nelly, that point was made?
Chingy: No, I don’t think the point was made – I mean, no, the point was made to my extent because I still did the song and I still did the St. Louis anthem and I made it for St. Louis, period, whether I would have did it myself. It’s called, “St. Louis Niggas,” and I wanted to get all of us on that record because Nelly’s a big commodity in St. Louis for this music industry, me, I’m a St. Louis icon for comin’ out when I did, and Huey’s steady growin’, doin’ what he do. I just wanted the biggest artists in St. Louis right now. And I’m gonna do a remix.
DJ Booth: What is it going take for you and Nelly, without anybody else on the track, to finally work together? Because last time I asked, you said, “You know what, Z, I don’t really know. Who knows?” Two years later, same question – what’s the answer?
Chingy: And I still don’t know.
DJ Booth: I can’t understand why it’s so difficult. For years, I didn’t understand why it was so difficult for an artist like Twista from Chicago, and the Bone Thugs from Cleveland to come together- finally now, almost ten years after their silly beef, they’re collaborating. What is it gonna take for you guys to actually record a track together and not just do it because it’s what people wanna hear, but because you’re cool with each other and you wanna do it?
Chingy: I’m gonna keep it real with you – I’d love to work with Nelly. I’ve always admired the dude’s music and I always admired what he did. But, to be honest, I don’t know what it’s gonna take to do a record with him. Like, I don’t know. I couldn’t even tell you.
DJ Booth: Someone who has come together with you, Ludacris, is the man who you originally signed your DTP contract with. You returned to that camp – what had to happen in order for you to be a part of DTP again?
Chingy: The love was always there. They still had love for me; I had love for them. It was a misunderstanding, a miscommunication what happened. We sat down and talked about it. Everybody put their feelings on the table in this hotel room where we talked it out, put it in the past, and the next thing you know I’m back on Disturbing tha Peace and it’s all love, it’s family, and we’re gonna move forward.
DJ Booth: In retrospect, do you feel your career would have taken a different route had you stayed with DTP from the jump-off?
Chingy: Yes, and the reason I was sayin’ it would have took a different route is because Shaka Zulu, Jeff Dixon, Chris, and everybody worked as a team and they know how to go in directions and execute. When I was on Capitol, without Disturbing Tha Peace, Capitol really didn’t know what direction to take me. And I would try to give ‘em direction, but they didn’t really listen.
DJ Booth: Do you think they don’t know how to properly promote urban artists on their roster?
Chingy: Yes, I honestly think they don’t know how to properly promote urban artists. They promote singles, they don’t promote the album.
DJ Booth: If Chingy ran for president of the United States of America, what would his campaign slogan be?
Chingy: My campaign slogan would be, “No talkin’, just executin’.”
DJ Booth: Okay. Actions speak louder than words.
Chingy: Yeah, actions speak louder than words, basically!
DJ Booth: I could not agree more. If you’re thinking about running for president and you need a running mate, just let me know, I’ll hook you up.
Chingy: I’ll definitely let you know. First thing I’m gonna do, I’m gonna start with the ghettoes, the neighborhoods all around the country and fix them up.
DJ Booth: Well Chingy, it’s been a pleasure, man. Go ahead, give everybody a website or a Myspace page so they can find out more about the brand new album, “Hate It Or Love It,”’ dropping this December.
Chingy: What you can do is go to myspace.com/chingy, and you’ll find out everything about your boy right there on myspace.com.
DJ Booth: Well I appreciate your time. I wish you nothing but the best of luck, I hope you enjoyed your chicken sandwich and the interview.
Chingy: I enjoyed both – I actually enjoyed the chicken sandwich better, though.
DJ Booth: Really? That hurts my feelings.
Chingy: Yeah, ‘cause it was good and I was hungry, I was starving – but the interview was great!
DJ Booth: Had you not had the chicken sandwich, the interview would have been on top, right?
Chingy: The interview would’ve been on top. The interview is second, the chicken sandwich is first, but if I didn’t have it, it definitely would’ve been first.
DJ Booth: Well, I can take that. I appreciate it. Nothing but the best of luck, my man.
Chingy: All right man, you be cool.