The rapper's career-defining hit almost didn't see the light of day.
Chamillionaire’s quintessential “Ridin’” smash was almost shelved according to the duo that produced it.
Production tag team Play-N-Skillz recently chatted it up with Billboard on their biggest hits and the stories behind them, and of course, 2005’s “Ridin’” was up on the chopping block. According to Play no one from the label nor Chamillionaire himself wanted the track to even make it onto the final version of his album The Sound Of Revenge.
“We introduced [Chamillionaire] to Charles Chavez, who was managing us at the time and eventually ended up managing him too. He got a deal at Universal, and we began working on his album,” says Play.
“Ridin'” was the last song that made it on the album. He actually didn’t want the song on the album. We were the last guys to work on it, even though we opened the doors for him to start working on a major-label album […] When we played it for Cham, he was honestly nonchalant about it. I don’t think anybody knew what the song was going to be. [The label] put out the first single -- “Turn It Up” with Lil Flip -- and our manager leaked “Dirty” to radio. And history did what it was supposed to do. The song went to No. 1, and now he has a nice Grammy trophy to add to his name.”
The song went on to be cultural anthem, highlighting racial profiling and encounters with law enforcement. While it earned Chamillionaire and featured artist Krayzie Bone a GRAMMY for best Rap Performance by a Duo, it also went four-times platinum in the United States. It served as a nice boost for Sound of Revenge, which would peak in the top 10 on the Billboard 200 Albums chart.
Play adds: “I thought it was a really good song, but we recorded so much material with him beforehand that we felt was so much better. I remember riding around in the car playing "Ridin'" for friends and telling them that it wasn’t the song I wanted to go on the album. So [its success] was a surprise to everyone except Charles Chavez, who pushed for the song. No one from the label nor Chamillionaire wanted that to be a single.”