Monday, December 12, 2005

Chamillionaire is the latest artist to emerge nationally from the Houston rap scene, which also takes its sports seriously. Chamillionaire released a remix of his single "Turn It Up" with lyrics about the Astros' rise through the playoffs. Chamillionaire's first major label release, "The Sound of Revenge" debuted at No. 10 two weeks ago in the Billboard album charts.

You wrote the Houston Astros song. What would it take for you to write one about the Texans?

About the Texans? [ Laughs ] I don't know. I don't want to overdo it. People are going to take it as a gimmick if I keep on doing that stuff.

They would have to at least play better.

Right now none of our Houston teams are doing it right now. Not even the Rockets.

There are many athletes who want to be rappers and rappers who want to be athletes. What do you think the attraction is between the two?

I think it's just something about being young. When I was younger, coming up I used to want to go to the NBA. I used to practice every day and think that I was going to the NBA. I used to play basketball in high school and then I ended up being a rapper. I think those two things go hand in hand--sports and music. I used to be on the busses going to the games and everybody would be listening to rap and kind of beat boxing on the bus.

What was your best memory from playing?

With me it was harder because I went to a school where it was more about the fundamentals. . . . One game I had I was the point guard in the final seconds of the game and was supposed to call a fundamental play, but I didn't. I went against the coach's will and did a crossover on a player and then passed it to somebody when I drew the defense in. He made [the shot] and we ended up winning. But I remember that because the next day I was on punishment by the coach because I didn't follow the fundamental rules.

Do you keep up with the sports scene now?

Honestly, I don't have time to watch no sports. My video's on "106 & Park" all day, but I don't even have time to watch that. I still try to keep up to keep my ear to the streets, though. Recently in the NBA they had the dress code rule, and that made me turn on the TV real late at night to "SportsCenter" and see what's going on with that because I thought that was crazy. I deal with that too, now. I'm going into the corporate world and people are telling you how to dress and how to act.

You're against the dress code, then?

I don't see a real reason for it. The only people it affects are the people in the urban world. I don't think it's a bad influence on the NBA for people to wear what they grew up wearing. No chains, and no do-rags? That's my culture. I feel like it's discrimination against people like us. I dress the same way. I wear a chain, I got jewelry on, I got a do-rag, but that don't mean I can't come to the job and conduct myself right. I think people always have those stereotypes. I think what they did in the NBA is just another form of that. I mean [the code] is not even when they're on the job. When they're on the court, if you want to make them tuck in their jersey, fine. If they want to say your pants can't be sagging below your booty, fine. That I can see.

-- Liam Dillon

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