Chamillionaire Interview with NPR Who Is ‘Us,’ Anyway?
Transcript of the interview:
CHAMILLIONAIRE: Nigeria – correct. Well, just growing up, I was always very familiar with, you know, stuff like visas and green cards and passports and immigration and deportation because of just family, friends. And it was always a conversation that was going on in the family. And of course a lot of those conversations were, you know, African-American issues and, you know, issues of related family members and stuff like that.
But, you know, as we started settling in Texas and started just realizing that the population was – it seemed like a majority, you Know, Hispanic, Latino, you know, everywhere, at every school I went to. I mean, the song that I put out, “Ridin’ Dirty,” that was the biggest ever – you know, Latinos produced that for me. You know, my manager was Latino. Like, it’s just – everywhere in my life, it was present.
So now this conversation is not something that’s just, like, I just popped up and decided I want to talk about it. It’s something that I’ve been almost living, you know what I mean? I can think about all my friends from high school and people that I bump into today that I know that are affected by these laws which I believe are unfair, you know?
Like, if you think about Jorge’s situation, it’s like, this guy was here for 30 years – 30 years trying – and people say, well, why doesn’t he just go – he should’ve – he’s lazy. He should’ve went up and, you know, got legal status. And it’s like they don’t realize the process that it takes to become legal here. Like, that is broken. I don’t know. Maybe people only care about themselves or only care about a situation until it directly affects them. But I mean, I feel differently about it.
HINOJOSA: So what happened after you got in touch with Cindy Garcia, and where do things stand now in terms of Jorge and Cindy and your relationship with them?
CHAMILLIONAIRE: Well, the good part about it is that the people on the Internet went through a lot of trouble to try to get me in touch with Cindy, which – they found her, and then they connected us via Facebook. And then we started talking. She sent me her phone number. And we had a great conversation. When you’re a celebrity, it’s easy to amplify things. Everybody knows about it, and you know, everybody posts on social media.
But, you know, when that conversation happened about, hey, Mexicans do nothing to help us as African-Americans, I’m thinking about the moment we’re in Hurricane Harvey on the back of a truck riding through 10 feet of water. And there are Latinos – you know, Mexicans jumping out of the back into the water to go help people with me. Like, that’s who was helping save us, you know? So it’s almost offensive when I hear people say all this stuff. But I definitely try not to take, you know, the credit for it because, you know, this isn’t something that, you know, I do for any kind of credit or anything like that.
HINOJOSA: I just want to say thank you on behalf of all of us at Futuro Media and Latino USA for speaking with us.
CHAMILLIONAIRE: (Speaking Spanish)….
The Full audio interview with NPR and Chamillionaire can be heard here: https://www.npr.org/templates/transcript/transcript.php?storyId=593242798