If success is the sweetest revenge then releasing one of the most anticipated albums of 2007 must be the Ultimate Revenge. Platinum superstar Chamillionaire is back with his highly anticipated sophomore LP Ultimate Victory! Chamillionaire's rise from Houston underground rap pioneer to award-winning, mainstream music luminary was again affirmed earlier this year when the prolific artist was nominated for two Grammy Awards, garnering nods in the Best Rap Song category and for Best Rap Performance By Duo or Group for the hit single Ridin', featuring Krayzie Bone, (which ended in the win for Best Rap Performance by Duo or Group). The prestigious nods came on the heels of his two trophy-takedown at the First Annual BET Hip-Hop Awards in mid-November, where Chamillionaire walked away with both the Rookie Of The Year Award and the coveted Alltell Wireless People's Champ (Viewers' Choice) Awards. The Houston rapper began his incredible run as the most honored hip-hop star of the past year by beating out proven superstars 50 Cent, Busta Rhymes and T.I. for Best Rap Video for Ridin' at the 2006 MTV Video Music Awards. Chamillionaire's platinum-plus debut disc has become one of the most lauded albums in hip-hop history, with the single and video for Ridin' topping almost every chart and single-handedly transforming the digital landscape, as well. Incredibly, Chamillionaire became the biggest selling Ringtone artists in history, surpassing an amazing 4 million in ringtone sales, in addition to his groundbreaking Myspace site closing in on an astounding 6 million profile views.
Here's what Mixtape Messiah Chamillionaire needs you to know: He's no longer just a tough-talkin' dude from Texas with a kisser full of diamonds and an armload of music awards. He's also--and this is pretty radical for a rapper--an anti-materialist. So goes the theme of Ultimate Victory
, on which his limber voice and way with a lyric serve him well. If you don't see a pattern emerging by "Won't Let You Down" and "Industry Groupie," on which Cham swipes at the motives and ethics endemic to certain lifestyles (and also, in the case of the latter track, expresses real disappointment--how could a groupie do him that way?), the skit that precedes "The Bill Collecta" with Krayzie Bone will get you closer: "They comin' to get what you got/And you tryin' to say you aint got it," he complains about a debtor--it's a familiar scenario, and one he's sick of. "I Think I Love You" gets right to the point: "Money don't bring you nothin' but trouble," he gripes. Less gripey but still great are some collaborations--"Pimp Mode" with homeboy Bun B and "Welcome to the South" with Pimp C ooze Houston charm. The best track, though, is the last one--"The Ultimate Victory" gets at what it's like to be Chamillionaire, a guy with a lot more running through his thoughts than the average cash-obsessed rapping millionaire. --Tammy La Gorce->