Chingy grew up in St. Louis, Missouri and began rapping in earnest in his late teens. He toured as an opening act with Nelly in the summer of 2002 and then became a protégé of Ludacris, who signed him to his newly formed Disturbing Tha Peace (DTP) record label. The rapper's 2003 summer debut single, "Right Thurr", put him on the musical map as a good-time rapper who specialized in catchy, club-friendly beats and simplistic lyrics delivered in a sing-song, nursery rhyme style. Chingy's 2003 debut album, Jackpot, sold two million copies, thanks to the boost from "Right Thurr". A second album, Powerballin', was released in 2004 to mixed reviews, and his 2006 release Hoodstar spawned the hit singles "Pullin' Me Back" and "Dem Jeans." He released Hate It or Love It in 2007, under DTP records. The album's lead single is "Fly Like Me", featuring Amerie. A studio album entitled Success & Failure was released in 2010.
Chingy grew up in the Walnut Park section of St. Louis, a neighborhood he has referred to as the "Bad Blocks."
He began writing lyrics when he was nine years old and was recording raps at ten. He was originally known as H Thugz and was in the St. Louis group Without Warning on 49 Productions with M.G.D. & Mysphit. They recorded "What's Poppin Off" together, which became a local hit. H Thugz and Augustin also recorded a music video for the song. H Thugz later chose the alias Chingy, a slang term for money.
Chingy attended McCluer North High School in Florissant, Missouri, a suburb of St. Louis. During high school he was known to his friends as "Howie" and he continues to prefer this name amongst close friends and family.
Ludacris and his manager, Chaka Zulu, were quick to sign Chingy to their fledgling Disturbing Tha Peace label. The up-tempo Southern hip hop track "Right Thurr" gained popularity, peaking at number two on the Billboard Hot 100.
Chingy's debut album Jackpot was released on July 15, 2003 on Disturbing tha Peace. Unable to secure a distribution deal through Def Jam, Ludacris negotiated a deal to distribute the album through Capitol Records. Guest appearances included Ludacris, Snoop Dogg, Murphy Lee, I-20, Raindrop, Tity Boi of Playaz Circle, Trina, and Jermaine Dupri. Fueled by "Right Thurr", Jackpot produced the hit "One Call Away" featuring J-Weav and "Holidae In" featuring Snoop Dogg and Ludacris. The album was produced by St. Louis production crew The Trak Starz. The album was received well by critics. Within a year of the release of Jackpot, It was certified Platinum by the RIAA.
Chingy released his second album, Powerballin', on November 16, 2004 through Slot-A-Lot Records and Capitol Records. The album peaked at #10 on the charts and featured the hit single "Balla Baby." The album featured guest appearances from artists R. Kelly, Bun B, Lil Wayne, Lil Flip, Janet Jackson, David Banner, Nate Dogg, and Get It Boyz. Powerballin' sold over one million copies and received a Platinum certification by the RIAA on March 21, 2005. He also was on one of the George Lopez episodes as himself. The 8th song of the album "I Do" is a soundtrack in the 2004 video game Need for Speed: Underground 2.
Hoodstar is Chingy's third album, released on September 19, 2006. The album featured Mr. Collipark, longtime collaborator Jermaine Dupri, Timbaland, and Mannie Fresh. His summer single, "Pullin Me Back" (featuring actor-R&B singer Tyrese), would find him back on top on the Hot Rap Tracks chart and help Hoodstar debut at number eight on the album chart, but the follow-up single "Dem Jeans", featuring Jermaine Dupri, fared worse although the album did go gold. Other singles from Hoodstar were "Brand New Kicks" and "Hands Up".
Unhappy with the way he felt Capitol was promoting their urban artists, in 2007 Chingy jumped ship and returned to DTP Records, which was by-then a part of the Def Jam family. When asked upon this move, the St. Louis rapper said: "I don't think Capitol really knew how to work urban artists, They're really stuck on pop and they didn't know how to market me."
Hate It or Love It is Chingy's fourth studio album. The album featured production from Scott Storch, Timbaland, and Cool and Dre. The lead single is "Fly Like Me", featuring Amerie. The album was released on December 18, 2007 and featured appearances by Ludacris, Bobby Valentino, Steph Jones, Trey Songz, Rick Ross, and Anthony Hamilton. The album debuted at #84 on the Billboard 200, selling 30,000 copies, making it Chingy's first album not to crack the Top 10. Hate It or Love It was not released in the UK, marking Chingy's first album not to be released in the country.
In 2012 Chingy announced he was working on his fifth studio album called No Risk No Reward, DTP which was set to be released sometime in 2012, but as of June 2016 continues to be delayed due to lack of funding. "Superhero", featuring Full Dekk Music Group's artist Chris Woodhouse, was purported to be the first single from the album. Chingy then announced that he would be releasing a mixtape entitled Jackpot Back, which was released March 3, 2012. Currently Chingy is working on his upcoming EP album entitled Chingology which was released later this year.
In Spring 2013, Chingy announced that he claims the belief of Black Hebrew Israelites and released the music video for "King Judah". This was Chingy's attempt to follow a moral agenda and denouncing mainstream rap.
Major media outlets in Australia and NZ leaked information about a new Chingy collaboration entitled "Watch The World" featuring New Zealand based Asian model/singer Lucy X (Lucy Xu) . The track produced by ChristopherKris (Kris Lal) is rumored to be featured on an upcoming compilation album released in 2014. The single was released on November 1, 2013, to iTunes and radio. The song reached #2 on the iTunes Urban chart in both countries, with a video to follow in the coming months.
Full Dekk Music Group, formerly known as Slot-A-Lot Records, is founded by rapper Chingy and manager Stan Wright in 2004, while Bailey was signed to Capitol Records.Current artists
Mr 915 Lil Bit
Hate It or Love It (2007)
Dead Rose (2018)
In 2005, Chingy made his acting debut in the TV comedy series My Wife and Kids. The same year, Chingy acted in the TV comedies One on One and George Lopez. In 2006 Chingy made a cameo in the comedy film Scary Movie 4, as well as on TV series Yo Momma. In 2010, Chingy had a role in the film Speed-Dating.