By William Hernandez


WHO?MAG:  Who is Chingy?
CHINGY:  Chingy is my stage name first of all.  I was born Howard Bailey.  I was your average kid growing up in school. I came from a household of two brothers, one sister, and my mom and my dad. I happened to take to music.  Who started me liking music period was Michael Jackson.  I saw how he was an entertainer and making music and everybody loved him.  I figured to myself that’s what I want to be. Music has always been a part of my life since childhood.  When I was 8 years old, I started to write my own music.  When I was 10 I started to get into the studio and laying tracks down.   Then when I was 12, 13, I started doing talent shows.  What really let me know I had a gift was when I did this specific talent show that there were sixty performers.  Some sang, some danced, some did poetry, and some rapped . I was part of the rappers . I was in this group called LSD, Lethal Substance of Dope.  We came in first place of all these people.  That clicked to me that to what did I have actually a talent to come first place out of all these people.  When I was 15 I put out a local CD with my crew.  We were called Without Warning by then.   It did alright and we performed in different concerts.  We opened up for Outkast and a couple of different people.  I was always the leader of the group.  Around 1999 I was in another group called Three Strikes which consisted of my homeboy Tai and Ahmad.  Ahmad’s older brother was Ali from the St. Lunatics which I’ve been known him for years.  They said our music was tight and we had our structure together.  They wanted us to open up for them.  Keep in mind we all knew each other.  We opened up their shows and did a great job performing in front of ten thousand people.  This was around 2000, 2001.  We kind of broke off as a group.  My boys Sam and Zoe, which were the Trackstarz, we were working on the Jackpot album, but we didn’t know it yet.  A lot of the songs on the first album were the ones we were working on then.

WHO?MAG:  How did “Right There” come about?
CHINGY:  It was a song I’d had since I was 16.  I always had it in my head.  I remember the Trackstarz put in a beat CD.   I was like “I got something for that beat” and it became the number one song in the country.   It wasn’t a super big process.  I already had the first verse and the hook.  I had to write the other two and another eight bars.  Music is something is something that comes naturally to me.  It just felt through like that

WHO?MAG:  Were you expecting it to be such a big hit?
CHINGY:  It became something bigger than what we expected.  I didn’t know it would get that big to be honest.   I’m glad it did, but I didn’t know.

WHO?MAG:  How was it working with Snoop Dogg on Holiday Inn?

CHINGY:  Sam of the Trackstarz.  We were in a two-bedroom apartment.  That was the size of the kitchen in a five-bedroom house.   We’d sit in the studio room everyday all day making music.  One day, I had a lady friend come over and we were just chilling.  He had the beat in the MPC2000 trying to come up with a song.  Sam start hitting the drum pads making the drums for Holiday Inn and we started singing the hook to Holiday Inn.  It just all came about.  I wanted to get Snoop Dogg and Ludacris on there and I had the Disturbing The Peace deal and that’s how I made that happen.