Under 30

I can't complain but sometimes I still do

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Top of the Pops: Chamillionaire

Every week I will write about a hit song on the Billboard pop charts in order to take the pulse of the American music-listening populace. This week it's the No. 1 song in the country, "Ridin'" by Chamillionaire.

You had me at Chamillionaire, Chamillionaire. How did no other rapper think of calling himself Chamillionaire before Chamillionaire? You got your bling, your girls, your Cristal, and it's cool and all. But this guy is so rich, so unbelievably pimpin', that the U.S. Treasury invented a new dollar designation to count all the green. Deal with that, playas. Sure, "Ridin' is Chamillionaire's biggest hit so far, thus making it unlikely that Chamillionaire had a chamillion dollars when he recorded it. But pop music is all about saying you are something you're not, and then becoming that thing when everybody believes you.

Pop music also is about making you love behavior you would hate in real life. "Ridin'" embodies this sacred ideal. Chamillionaire is cruising around with the radio blasting, his windows tinted, and a hot chick over by "the PlayStation controlla." The cops know Chamillionaire is out there and they want to catch him riding dirty, which shouldn't be a problem because he has warrants in every town except Houston. Only thing is, Houston is his town. How is that possible? Who cares? Tough luck, officers!

Arrogant jerkdom doesn't get much more likeable than "Ridin.'" Scores of jackasses will cruise around blasting this song at full volume this summer, the bass so loud it will turn even the most ardent turn-it-up people among us into grumpy codgers. Don't hate these people because they have Chamillionaire on the brain. They don't have pay-off money in the glove compartment or Krayzie Bone in the verse, but at leats they can swing to a bumpin' stereo.


Blogger mark said...

i keep reading his name as the herbal tea.

11:31 AM  
Anonymous cheddar said...

My favorite thing is that he's admittedly from a middle-class family with two parents and went to church weekly as a kid and has never been arrested/incarcerated.

Rap has become so homogenized you don't even need to be "legit" anymore to act like it.

11:41 AM  
Blogger mark said...

never even arrested? what's next..

1:51 PM  
Blogger mark said...

never even arrested? what's next..

1:51 PM  
Blogger Steve Hyden said...

Does anybody still expect rappers to be real criminals? Is Robert De Niro really a gangster?

2:44 PM  
Blogger Thomas Roz said...

i at least expect them to wear eye patches ala slick rick.

2:59 PM  
Blogger mark said...

what happened to the greats like 'snow'?

we got e40 out here and the likes, but ... his voice bugs me. T.T.T. lives in oakland too. hammer... tupac...

3:06 PM  
Blogger paul said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

3:40 PM  
Anonymous gavin said...

Seriously, those cops really want to bust him... who knew that Houston or whatever had a city ordianance against unwashed cars?

4:13 PM  
Anonymous cheddar said...

Actually, Mark, I got friends in the Bay on the underground front, if you're honestly into hip hop. I can pass along suggestions and whatnot.

Actually, I think one of them hit on Jen via my MySpace friends list. LOL

And one of my all-time faves, Spice-1, is a Bay legend.

4:43 PM  
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