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The Sound of Revenge

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Album Review

An experienced MC with piles of mixtapes and other underground releases in his past, Chamillionaire follows Mike Jones, Slim Thug, and Paul Wall as yet another Houstonian to surface aboveground in 2005. He's immeasurably superior to Jones in every aspect but self-promotion, isn't quite as imposing as Slim Thug, and, compared to childhood ally and former Color Changin' Click partner Wall, he's much sterner than sweet, indicated by the title of this album. The Chamillionaire that Southerners and other rabid followers of Southern rap have been hearing throughout the past few years hasn't made many concessions with this major-label release. He goes relatively soft on a couple tracks, but the tradeoff is that he continues to get better with time, and an overwhelming majority of the material here is only a slightly polished spin on what can be heard on his mixtapes. Even when the MC is at his most vengeful, he boasts an easy flow that's as easy to listen to as a warm, fluid bassline. Though he occasionally sounds as defensive as someone backed into a corner (hear the vicious "Frontin" in particular) and pens a few abjectly vigilant rhymes, his voice always slides through the ears with almost as much effortless composure as a Nate Dogg hook. Speaking of hooks, Cham provides almost all of them, switching between rhymes and singsongy vamps on a dime. Lyrically, he has a lot more range than the contemporaries mentioned above, making it evident that he took heed from the gripping narratives and bleak rhymes within the early Geto Boys albums. There's no "Mind of a Lunatic" or "Mind's Playing Tricks on Me" here, but there is "Rain," a track featuring Scarface that's as sobering as it is uplifting. Cham's as incisive and clever and nimble here as he is anywhere else: "Tired of being poor, tryin' to leave the rats/Walk out to see that three of your tires are flat/And that one tire left's a sign, I hope/That helps you to keep on grindin' when you're kind of broke/That helps you to keep composure up around your folk/That keeps you from tryin' to wrap a rope around your throat." The Sound of Revenge is as strong as Slim Thug's Already Platinum and has more dimensions. The Beat Bullies man the switches on six tracks. Scott Storch, Cool & Dre, Mannie Fresh, Play-N-Skillz, Happy Perez, and Sol Messiah also put in time.


Born: 28 November 1979 in Houston, TX

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Dubbed "the Mixtape Messiah," Houston's Chamillionaire arrived late as a major-label artist during his city's 2005 takeover of mainstream rap -- the Top Ten Sound of Revenge, released during November that year, followed albums from Mike Jones, Slim Thug, and former Color Changin' Click partner Paul Wall -- but he had already built a loyal following outside the South and received significant print coverage. Through a prolific succession of mixtapes, Chamillionaire (born Hakeem Sediki) became known...
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The Sound of Revenge, Chamillionaire
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