Southern rapper Chamillionaire has officially parted ways with Universal Records and will no longer be allowed to drop his long-awaited third solo album, Venom.
After six years at the label, Cham said his internal problems with Universal caused the split.
“I think nowadays labels feel rap doesn’t sell that much, pop does. So what they are doing is they are trying to turn rappers into that,” Cham said in an interview. “‘You infiltrated pop culture with ‘Ridin Dirty,’ now do it again.’ That’s what they wanted me to be, and if I came in with something that was more me, they wouldn’t support. But ‘Ridin Dirty’ wasn’t a pop record – it was myself.” (Billboard)
The “Ridin’ Dirty” hitmaker also said tensions rose while at the label.
“It got to the point where I just refused to put out a project if it wasn’t going to be right. I decided to pause – I went cold. I knew if I did that I had a better chance of getting off [the label],” Cham added. “I was fighting against this company and it was just an abusive relationship. It wasn’t beneficial for either of us…I have a better way to monetize – I have a plan and that’s why I don’t want to bash my major [label] all day. I don’t hate [Universal] and I’m glad they let me out [of my deal] because I have an innovative way to [make money now].” (Billboard)
Friday (January 14) night, Cham went on a Ustream broadcast and said the departure would no longer allow him to drop his Venom LP.
The most important note though, is that Cham is indeed off Universal Records. The negative aspect of this is that he is not allowed to release anything off of Venom, due to the agreement of his release. The rest of the topics are things we have heard before, such as his hard work as a youngster, his take on social media, and he even kicks a freestyle. (Hip Hop N More)
The album was initially slated to drop in summer 2010.
Grammy-winning, platinum Houston artist, Chamillionaire, officially hit the road today, embarking on his “In Love With My Money” tour with former group member, Paul Wall – first stop, Austin, Texas for their headlining gig at SXSW. The timing couldn’t be more perfect as the release date for his long-awaited third album, Venom, was officially slated this week for June 22nd 2010 on Chamillitary/Universal Republic with a first single, artwork and tracklisting to be forthcoming shortly. (Press Release)
Since signing to Universal Records in 2005, Chamillionaire has released his debut Sound of Revenge album (2006) and sophomore project, Ultimate Victory (2008).
Check out a portion of Chamilliionaire’s live broadcast below: