“I walked around the music industry for a bunch of years, right? I saw a lot of rich people. I didn’t see wealthy. I got into the tech industry, I see wealthy every day. The Snapchat CEO is 24 years old and a billionaire. How many billionaires do I have to walk around the music industry to find? I’m in Silicon Valley, I’m in L.A., I’m in Santa Monica, and I’m seeing billionaires all over the place. And they’re young. That’s not in the music industry.”
-Chamillionaire Interview with Vice, 2015
During the NCAA playoff, there were some folks who decided to take digs at rapper Chamillionaire. The rapper was seen sitting court-side, and that’s when the internet went IN. Many were wondering how the rapper was able to afford those seats because he, “hasn’t had a hit in years”.
yea ion understand how chamillionaire can afford courtside seats at the finals and this nigga a lyft driver. 🤷🏾♂️
— HabitualLineStepper (@becausecycada) June 17, 2017
I’m still amused how y’all clowned Chamillionaire in his floor seats from the comfort of your mama’s basement. 😂
— 🕸ℑudy ℑetson ⚯͛🖤 (@ShesSweetVenom) June 17, 2017
Yo chamillionaire can still afford court side seats lol pic.twitter.com/qip8VVO2XC
— Von 🤘🏽 (@Vonszn_) June 14, 2017
There are a few details about the world-wide web that we must remember: people are quick to judge, people are quick to throw shots, and people do not take the time to research. What many don’t realize is not only did Chamillionaire have a successful run in the rap game, the young Houston native was smart enough to take what he learned in the music business and expand into other, very lucrative opportunities.
Chamillionaire did something that many of us have to train ourselves to do more often; that is, pay attention to what is going on around you. Is your industry growing, changing, or evolving? How about your city – what type of companies are moving and leaving your area? Can you live the way you want by continuing to do what you do? These questions and more are vital when making career and business moves, and these are the types of observations that Chamillionaire made when he decided to take the jump from the music industry into the tech industry.
In an interview with Vice, shortly after his hit, “Riding Dirty”, Chamillionaire began to dabble in the tech world. He began going to to tech conferences, mingling with venture capitalists, and making investments into other tech companies. Chamillionaire then moved into advising for startups and investors. In 2014 at the age of 35, he invested in an online video network, Maker Studios. Maker was acquired by Disney for $500 million, with a promise to make another $450 million. Though Chamillionaire would not go into detail how much he made from that investment, he says that he, “expects to make way more doing this than what he did as a rapper.”
Chamillionaire has dreams of becoming a founder and spends his time, researching, learning, and soaking in the lessons of the venture capital world. The rapper spent time among these billionaires, took up a residency within a venture capital firm so that he could learn more, sits in on meetings, takes notes, and uses what he learns to educate his rap counterparts and others.
Big Boi from Outkast was recently on The Breakfast Club Morning Show, proudly proclaiming how he, Kelly Rowland, Trey Songs, E40, Ceelo and many others have teamed up with Chamillionaire in an investment syndicate, where they buy parts of tech companies, wait for them to turn a profit or get bought, and make lots of money.
Chamillionaire has not only been smart about his business moves, but he has been quiet, strategic, and not afraid to share his wealth of knowledge with this friends in the industry. So internet! Laugh all you want; in the meantime Chamillionaire is laughing all the way to the bank.
“When I was in Iraq, I was like, ‘OK, rap got me here.’ I’ll always keep that in my mind and realize that rap is what got me into this venture capital firm. Rap got me out of the hood. Rap got me out of Houston and helped me to see the world. But now that I’ve seen the world and I see so much, I’m just on this mission to let everybody else know—especially my peers in the music industry—about what’s happening over here.”