When you hear the name Chamillionaire, it’s easy to just think of ‘Ridin’. It’s understandable, considering it’s easily one of the biggest crossover records in Hip-Hop of all time. People who don’t know the first thing about Rap music know the words to the song’s chorus. But to reduce the Houston rapper to that song is almost insulting and completely ignores the fact that he’s actually one of the more quietly successful rappers around. What might surprise you is that Chamillionaire boasts an estimated net worth of around $25 million. Here’s how he did it.
What Is Chamillionaire's Net Worth?
The rapper was a superstar
Chamillionaire released his debut album The Sound Of Revenge in 2005 and it only took a month for it to be certified platinum. It was a different era in music, where big singles would really catapult the success of an entire album. In this case, the aforementioned #1 hit ‘Ridin’ with Krayzie Bone popularised the album and gave Chamillionaire a top ten debut album.
Within the music space, the rapper has his own entertainment company called Chamillitary Entertainment, which all of his releases since leaving Universal in 2011 have gone through. Being an independent artist is extremely financially viable and the rapper saw the vision early. Lil Ken and Tony Henry are fellow artists under the umbrella.
Chamillionaire's expertise in business paid off
By the point of his first album dropping, Chamillionaire was already an entrepreneur outside of music, though. In 2003, the rapper invested in his friend Big Ernest’s company Fly Rydes Kustom Toy’z, a Houston based auto-dealer, and car customization shop. He saw how important that culture was in Houston and made a smart investment, which became a theme in his career.
In 2009, Chamillionaire met Mark Suster, a fellow entrepreneur, and a venture capitalist. They built a good relationship and the rapper ended up investing in his online video talent agency, Maker Studios. The investment was a massive $1.5 million and it paid off more than tenfold. Six years later in 2014, Maker Studios, Inc. sold to The Walt Disney Company for a massive $500 million with the possibility of $950 million if some financial goals were met. Chamillionaire’s pay-out from the deal is believed to be $20 million and with one investment, he made more than many successful rappers make in their entire touring career.
One of the rapper’s other most lucrative investments has been in Cruise, a self-driving automation tech company that ended up being purchased by General Motors for over $1 billion in 2016. There’s no word on what his investment here was but if it was anything near the $1.5 million he put into Maker Studios, it definitely made his pockets considerably fatter.
Never one to leave his roots, Chamillionaire has also made investments with fellow musicians. He revealed that he, Big Boi, and Trey Songz invested in Lyft in 2015 before it went public. The same year, it was worth a reported $2.157 billion. This foresight is key and was on show again when the rapper invested in Ring, which was eventually bought by Amazon and is now used worldwide. The rapper has the Midas touch when it comes to putting money behind businesses.
Success leads to big opportunities
His experience in the field is what led to his appointment as Upfront Ventures’ entrepreneur in residence, where he gets to offer advice and investment capital to startups he deems worthy.
As well as investments, Chamillionaire has launched his own businesses too. In 2018, he announced Convoz, a social media app where fans and their favorite celebrities can communicate in a more personal way than anything else offers. It received seed funding from Upfront Ventures as well as 500 Startups, Precursor VC, and more as well as Snoop Dogg and others being involved early on.
Chamillionaire gives back
Chamillionaire has done a great job of giving back too. Last year, he announced that alongside Bay Area legend E-40, he was going to be investing $25k into a start-up founded by a woman or person of color, in an attempt to close a huge gap. A study was published that showed that Caucasians make up 87% of Venture Capital-backed CEOs and only 3% of those positions are held by women and this was what inspired the decision. They ended up investing in Atoms, a company that offers shoes in quarter sizes. It was so successful that they launched a contest where start-ups that met the same criteria could win four times the amount, $100k.
With all of this success outside of the music industry, it’s no wonder why Chamillionaire took a step back from music entirely to focus on investments and the tech space. Although his name is synonymous with being a “one-hit wonder” for most, many young people would benefit more greatly from listening to his advice than some of their favorite rappers. With his expertise in entrepreneurship, it’s no wonder how the Houston MC has lived up to his name.