Sometimes it’s good to trust your gut. Other times, in the case of Chamillionaire, it’s good to ignore gut feelings and win a GRAMMY.
As production duo Play-N-Skillz told Billboard, Chamillionaire’s career-defining single “Ridin’” almost didn’t even make what would become the biggest album of the artist's career, 2005's The Sound of Revenge, nor did anyone on Cham’s team, including himself, want the record to be a single.
“‘Ridin'’ was the last song that made it on the album,” Juan “Play” Salinas revealed. “[Chamillionaire] actually didn’t want the song on the album. We were the last guys to work on it, even though we opened the doors for him to start working on a major-label album… When we played it for Cham, he was honestly nonchalant about it. I don’t think anybody knew what the song was going to be… The song went to No. 1, and now he has a nice Grammy trophy to add to his name… No one from the label nor Chamillionaire wanted that to be a single.”
Isaiah Rashad, Skepta & Sarkodie: Best of the Week
Isaiah Rashad, Skepta, Sarkodie all released new songs that were selected for Audiomack’s ‘Best of the Week.’
Thankfully, it paid to be wrong.
12 years later, “Ridin’” is not only one of the 10 best “riding” songs, literally, to have ever been released, but the song is a bona fide classic, an emblem of Southern hip-hop, a GRAMMY-winner for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group (and nominee for Best Rap Song), and has gone RIAA-certified Platinum four times over. “Ridin’” was also Chamillionaire’s only Hot 100 No. 1 single, and the best-selling ringtone of 2006.
“Ridin’” is hip-hop and pop culture history, but to hear that we almost lost it to the ether of poor judgment sends a potent message to current artists: trust your producers. Most of the time, they know best.