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Unsung, April 21, 2024, TV One, “Chingy”




The TV One series Unsung is back with a new episode profiling the life and career of rapper Chingy. Born Howard Earl Bailey Jr., Chingy rose to fame in the early 2000s with his catchy, club-friendly beats and simplistic lyrics delivered in a sing-song, nursery rhyme style. His debut single, “Right Thurr,” released in 2003, peaked at number two on the Billboard Hot 100 and established him as an up-and-coming artist.

The episode, airing on April 21, will look into Chingy’s early life and the challenges he faced growing up in the “Bad Blocks” of Walnut Park, St. Louis, Missouri. It will explore his journey from writing lyrics at age eight and recording raps at ten to forming his first rap group, Lethal Substance of Dope (L.S.D.), with his childhood friend Justin. The group performed in local talent shows and gained a following.

Bailey Jr later changed his pseudonym to Chingy, a slang term for money, and joined the rap trio 3 Strikes, which caught the attention of rapper Nelly. They opened for Nelly’s tours, but personal differences led to the group’s split in 2001. This setback opened a new door for Chingy, as he pursued a solo career and signed with the production group Trak Starz.

Chingy’s big break came when his single “Right Thurr” was released on May 10, 2003, and quickly climbed the charts. The song’s success led to him signing with Disturbing Tha Peace (DTP), the record label co-founded by rapper Ludacris. His debut album, “Jackpot,” was released on July 15, 2003, and sold 2.8 million copies in America, earning double platinum certification. The album included the hit singles “Holidae In,” featuring Ludacris and Snoop Dogg, and “One Call Away” with J-Weav.


However, Chingy faced challenges with his management and record labels. He felt that Chaka Zulu of DTP and Ebony Son Entertainment did not manage him effectively and that the earnings were unfairly split. This led to his departure from DTP and the founding of his own label, Slot-A-Lot Records. Despite these setbacks, Chingy continued to create music and released his second album, “Powerballin’, in 2004, which included the single “Balla Baby.” The album sold a million copies in the US and was certified platinum.

Chingy’s third album, “Hoodstar,” was released in 2006, and included the hit single “Pullin’ Me Back” featuring Tyrese. However, the following single, “Dem Jeans,” failed to chart. Dissatisfied with Capitol Records’ promotion of his music, Chingy returned to DTP, which had become part of Def Jam Recordings. His fourth album, “Hate It or Love It,” was released in 2007 but underperformed, selling only 30,000 copies in the first week.

Chingy’s career faced further setbacks due to rumors of relationships with transgender rapper Foxxjazell and model Sidney Starr, as well as personal losses and depression. He took a step back from the rap scene and, in 2013, announced that he had become a practicing Black Hebrew Israelite. However, he has since left the religion and signed with Bungalo Records, distributed by Universal Music Group, marking his third recording deal with the company.

Chingy is currently working on new projects and is rumored to be creating a sequel to his 2007 album, “Hate It or Love It 2.” He has also been performing at various shows across the US and has launched his own YouTube channel and merchandise line.


Unsung airs on TV One at 9.00 pm on April 21, 2024.

Hey there! I'm Riley, the US TV Previews editor at I may have failed as a musician, but my love for Jeopardy knows no bounds. And let me tell you, The Wire is hands down the greatest TV show ever made. I've been writing about the entertainment biz since (mumble mumble). Stay tuned for all the latest TV news and previews!

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