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Ultimate Victory (Bonus Track Version)

Chamillionaire

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Album Review

Crossover rap hits don't come much bigger than Chamillionaire's 2005 single "Ridin." The track was inescapable for months longer than anyone expected, put a Grammy on Cham's mantle, was graced with a Weird Al parody, and spawned a ringtone that became the first certified triple platinum. The rapper takes great pride in these achievements by repeatedly mentioning the sales numbers, but he also takes great pride in himself and his work. Fellow millionaire 50 Cent may lie back and let the money roll in with a proven formula, but Cham is still chasing paper, the dream, and a legendary status with everything he's got, something that makes Ultimate Victory feel more important and more genuine than the everyday hip-hop album. The bad new is, it's flawed, with a couple redundant numbers and a surprisingly underwhelming Lil Wayne collaboration that does the overdone guitar and "party like a rock star" thing without a hint of flair. Past a few missteps, the album is a winning embrace of hip-hop with commentaries on beefs, nostalgic pining for better days, and a positive outlook for the future of the genre. Beef is shown the door, cussing is absent, and yet somehow Cham comes off as more Scarface than Mase. Part of this is due to Ultimate Victory's allegiance to verse-filled hip-hop and its unwillingness to repeat "Ridin" for a quick buck. Even if "The Evening News" has an instant hook, its subject matter is heavy, and even if "Hip Hop Police" with very special guest Slick Rick has that slick J.R. Rotem beat, it's more concerned with hip-hop's history than selling ringtones. "Industry Groupie" is also worth noting thanks to its exciting venom and sample from Europe's "The Final Countdown," and when you add the excellent "The Bill Collecta" with Krayzie Bone, along with the extremely catchy "You Must Be Crazy" featuring Lil' Ken, you've already got more highlights than most of the competition. A rapper's credibility is bound to take some shrapnel when a single crosses over as big as "Ridin." Ultimate Victory is a brilliant way to recover from overexposure and bring things back to a more sensible level if a long-term, credible career is what's at stake.

Biography

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...
Full Bio
Ultimate Victory (Bonus Track Version), Chamillionaire
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