Chingy throws back some dinner and we chat about life, music and being on top.
Can you believe the record is top ten on the charts?
It’s a great thing, but I’m a humble guy. I don’t take anything for granted. I’m excited about it but I’m just chillin’ and letting nature take its course.
(Joking) Humble? You did call the record Jackpot.
I named it Jackpot because it coincides with Chingy and trying to hit big the first time around.
What was it like working with Snoop and Ludacris on the record?
It was fun. They are really cool, humble guys. They are about their business and their music. I loved working with them and their music.
How did you hook up with them?
My producer at TraxStars is managed by Shaka Zulu who manages Ludacris and also owner of Disturbing the Peace with Ludacris. I did five tracks with TraxStars and they sent it to Shaka Zulu and they got it, listened to it and called us back the next day and loved it and wanted tow work on a song. We put it out on vinyl and got a nice buzz and by December of last year we had a deal.
Growing up did you ever think you could be in this position?
I always thought positively about the situation. It was just my need to work hard and stay focused so I could push myself to get there. But I have always thought positive about it.
Did Nelly’s success give more a glimmer of hope because before that St. Louis wasn’t even on the map?
Everyone was trying they just weren’t making it. You won’t make it just doing St. Louis, you have to travel. We had to travel outside the state and go to place where record labels are at. But with Nelly making it that put a shine on St. Louis.
When did you start writing?
When I was eight. Making my own music. I got into the studio when I was thirteen. At the age of twelve I was doing public performances.
Where did you develop your style?
Streets and niggers.
Has this last month really turned your life upside down?
Yeah, but it’s been great. We’ve been doing shows and giving the energy. A lot of fans love my music. Seeing the fans is great. It’s been a circus, but (Laughs) it’s been great.
Did you expect the amount of work that would come like doing interviews?
It comes with it so you have to expect it. I might get tired but you have to do it. It’ll pay off.
Did you have a lot of tracks for the record done?
I made a lot of songs and we just picked the ones to keep and that took three months. I had most of the songs done so it wasn’t hard to put together.
Did you carry beats around or did you write tracks before having any music?
So no method to the madness?
It just comes. I get things in my head. They make the beats.
What does your family think?
They watched me struggle for a long time. Everyone is happy. They are wishing me the best because I deserve it. I struggled for a long time and they watched it and they’re happy.
Does it sort of drive you crazy because fans and other artists will see you rising on the charts and think you came from no where and don’t know the struggle?
Yeah. Even when you get in it it’s still a struggle. Some people think its just fun and games and others don’t know how much I pushed to get here. They have to be in my shoes, but by listening to my music they can find out.
Is it weird to be in the push now where people want to give you demos whereas a year ago it was you trying to do the same thing?
It is weird, but you have to think about you were that person before. Sometimes you’ll be tired after a show and someone wants to give you a demo and they ask if you are going to listen to it and I say ‘yeah’. I remember when I was in that position. Some people will push to get it to you but I was never that aggressive. If I had my cd I’d try and see if they’d listen to it and tell them it would be cool if they’d hear it, but some are aggressive and some are cool about it.
The album is on the charts, life is good, what is your goal now?
To stay humble and create longevity. I want to invest and have my own record label and artists. I want to have a business where my kids, kids, kids will still have something going on long after I’m gone.
+ Charlie Craine