With his debut album The Sound of Revenge garnering chart-topping success and numerous awards, the pressure is on for Chamillionaire's sophomore effort Ultimate Victory, due out in September.
On Ultimate Victory Chamillionaire claims to reach much deeper than his previous work, addressing such current issues as the Bush administration and Hurricane Katrina.
"I could easily take the safe route [but] I'm rolling the dice. I decided to push the envelope. The way I made the album was, I made two albums worth of material and I took the safe records off, just because I want to be different," Cham explained. "That's actually harder to do. It's easier to write a club record about being in the VIP. I can do that all day. I just decided not to. I'm in a space where I don't care, I'm doing what I feel is dope. I create what I think should be cool instead of just following what everyone else says is cool."
While Ultimate Victory features appearances by Lil' Wayne, Krayzie Bone, Pimp C, Lloyd and Devin the Dude, as well as production from The Runners, David Banner and Play N Skillz, Cham insists he wasn't about getting big names.
"People thought I had 50 Cent, Alicia Keys, Dr. Dre — that's safe. I got Devin the Dude, Pimp C, my artist on there (Famous), Slick Rick. I can't name an album that came out in the past year that got Slick Rick on there.
Cham's first single, "Hip-Hop Police" featuring the old school legend and produced by J.R. Rotem, is scheduled to drop next week. Much like his smash hit "Ridin," "Hip-Hop Police" speaks to pertinent issues on multiple levels.
"Slick Rick was one of the pioneers of the art of storytelling and I had a story I wanted to tell about the hip-hop police," Cha told SOHH. "How the record goes is, I get arrested — I'm getting blamed for a crime by the police and they're trying to pin all this evidence on me. They talking about they seen 'the chronic' in my car, the 'clips' that I had, they found the 'blueprint' and the 'diary.' All that stuff is really albums. I had the Clipse album, The Blueprint Jay-Z's album, The Diary, Scarface's album, The Chronic Dr. Dre's album. They got me for a crime that is the equivalent of murder. Just loving hip-hop nowadays, with all the controversy, is the equivalent of murder. It's a 'Murder Was the Case' [Snoop Dogg] kind of record. At the end of the record they say 'we'll give you a lighter sentence if you pin the crime on your homies,' that's when Slick Rick comes in and defends himself. It's definitely relevant to today's times."
With three months to wait for the release of Ultimate Victory, on July 18 Chamillionaire is giving away his newest mixtape, Mixtape Messiah 3 and the Mixtape Messiah DVD to help tide the wait. Featuring new music, exclusive interviews, performances and documentary footage, both will be available for free download via his website www.chamillionaire.com.