“Ridin'” by Chamillionaire (ft. Krayzie Bone)
Chamillionaire’s “Ridin'” is actually based on the concept of law enforcement possessing a desire to lock the vocalist(s). And they want to do so by catching him in the act of “riding dirty”, i.e. carrying some type of contraband in his car. And the reason they are so dead set on achieving this goal doesn’t appear, as presented in the chorus, with having any to do with him actually being a criminal.
Instead, all things considered it seems that they’re hating on Chamillionaire because he’s young, Black, rich and doesn’t give AF, i.e. driving around with his music “so loud” and overall just blatantly drawing attention to himself.
Also as the first verse jumps off, it is revealed that his windows are tinted and that Chamillionaire is driving a very, very nice car. And in true rap fashion he is carrying contraband, i.e. a pistol, so that if anybody comes to try to jack him he likewise has some defense.
However, later, the rapper notes that he is actually ‘riding clean’. That may be a figure of speech instead of a statement of fact in contrast to what has been explained above, as he puts forth that he does so in the name of attracting ladies.
So what Chamillionaire may actually be saying in that regard is something like he keeps himself and the whip literally tidy to impress females, or something like which doesn’t contradict the fact that he already stated he’s carrying what is likely an illegal firearm.
And yes, we know that the rapper is from Texas, a state where it is currently quite legal to carry a gun and likely was so, to some extent, even back in 2005 when this song was dropped. But all lyrics considered, such does not necessarily seem to be the case for the vocalist at hand, that he was a legal carrier.
About midway through the verse, Chamillionaire once again brings up the subject of law enforcement as opposed to women. And it would appear, as alluded to in the chorus, that the reason they “hate” him is because he has a tendency to play his music as loud as possible.
Also inferred would be a notion like the vocalist possessing a real quality, i.e. extremely noisy, music system in his whip. And as implied above, shining like this also draws the attention of thieves, whom Chamillionaire once again warns. However, this time around in addition to alluding to having a burner on him, he also implies that he’s rolling with backup and seemingly puts forth an idea like he’ll have car jackers incarcerated.
Perhaps another reason law enforcement is on Chamillionaire’s behind is because he has “warrants in every city except Houston”. But overall he clearly isn’t intimidated by them. In fact at one point, he seems to even threaten police who harass him.
Also in terms of potential contraband, the rapper hints that he tends to smoke weed in the vehicle, with marijuana not being legal in Texas, even in the present. But up until this point, honestly the one aspect of his motorvehicle experience which has been referenced the most is his exceptionally loud music. So the general implication is that it is such which really has the police pissed off.
Krayzie Bone steps in
Next comes Krayzie Bone of Bone Thugs-n-Harmony fame. The rappers affiliated with that crew have never been the easiest to understand, but thankfully, with the help of the internet, it doesn’t take much effort to get access to song lyrics these days.
And for starters, he is most notably expressing a sentiment akin to that of his co-vocalist, that’s he chillin’ in a phat whip – a Ford Excursion actually – and as such is concerned about drawing the attention of law enforcement.
But most of the first half of the passage is based on his affinity for alcohol and marijuana. However, it doesn’t appear that he’s worried about the cops due to simply having a blunt and a 40, even though the latter is illegal to consume while driving and the former unlawful all around.
Rather he’s also carrying a gat and “six pounds” of what we will presume is marijuana. And as far as the gun is concerned, he uses it to roll up on opps.
So in Krayzie’s case, he doesn’t appear to care about the potential of being jacked. Instead, it’s like his enemies should be on the lookout for him rather. And whereas he may express recklessness in doling out street justice, at the same time he’s not trying to go to jail over some ‘hood-based beef.
So by the looks of things, Krayzie Bone is not up on rolling around playing loud music as much as Chamillionaire is. Rather what he particularly gets a kick out of is smoking and bustin’ shots. And to note Bone is from Ohio, a state where you currently can carry a gun in a car if you’re licensed to do so.
But generally speaking, we have to presume that state authorities probably aren’t going to give such authorization to someone like Krayzie, whose primary purpose of carrying the firearm is to commit drive-bys and shooting “off in the air”.
Chamillionaire takes over
Chamillionaire, being the primary vocalist at hand, then comes in with an additional verse. And this one sticks more to the actual topic of the song, with the narrator detailing how the cops tend to surveil him in hopes of bagging him dirty.
He knows that he’s being racially profiled, but this is something of course that they deny. Anyway, they proceed to pull him over and inspect the vehicle, and his first thought is actually to secure his money.
And it seems that he is compelled to do so because knowing that they are “crooked cops”, if given the opportunity they would probably jack it themselves. Also, he’s not afraid to talk smack to them.
And that’s because he is in fact clean, so it’s not like they can do anything to him anyway. Indeed he mocks the police for going through all of the trouble of pulling him over, etc., only to walk away empty handed.
Furthermore, his message to law enforcement is that individuals such as himself and Krayzie Bone ‘hates’ them. And again, he is able to come off as such due to the fact that they have nothing to charge him with.
So as presented, the police are actually the bad guys, i.e. the ones who harass the likes of Chamillionaire, even though he’s innocent. And before closing out the verse he gives a shoutout to one DJ Screw (1971-2000), a classic hip-hop musician from his hometown of Houston, Texas.
All in all
So honestly songs like this can cause a bit of confusion, if you will. For instance, let’s focus squarely on Chamillionaire. In the first verse he presents himself as someone who carries a fully-loaded gun in his car, which likely would be of the illegal variety. But then later, he is touting his innocence.
But in all, this song isn’t designed to be about his morality, criminality or what have you. In that regard, the focus is instead intended to be on law enforcement itself. They’re the ones lacking in morality and legality, if you will, by pulling dudes over based primarily on their skin color.
However, then one can also argue, considering that he is riding around with a gun, that perhaps Chamillionaire should be pulled over.
But at the end of the day, we’ll just leave it at that. Even if he does at times carry an illegal gat, the police have yet to get lucky enough, so to speak, to catch him in the act.
So if Chamillionaire is just cruising and they pull him over, give him the whole treatment and then fail to find any contraband, which is apparently something they do regularly, then it’s more like they’re harassing him than anything else. And as implied this is something that not only he but other young Black men driving nice, attention-getting cars, such as Krayzie Bone, have to worry about also.
Primary Artist(s): Chamillionaire
Featured Artist(s): Krayzie Bone
Release: November 12 of 2005
Album/EP: “The Sound of Revenge”
This Hip hop song was penned co-written by Chamillionaire. The full writing credits are as follows:
- Hakeem Seriki
- Anthony Henderson
- Juan Salinas & Oscar Salinas
Was “Ridin’” a single release?
Yes. “Ridin’” was a single released from Chamillionaire’s debut studio album, “The Sound of Revenge”. It was officially released on the 12th of November, 2005.
- US – 1
- UK – 1
- Scotland – 5
- New Zealand – 2
- Ireland – 2
- Germany – 8
“Ridin’” featured in episodes 8 and 9 of season 1 of “Mary + Jane” a comedy series which premiered on MTV.
It also featured in a 2015 movie, “Vacation”, written and directed by the duo, Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley.
In 2006, “Weird Al” Yankovic released a cover of “Ridin'”.
At the 49th Annual Grammy Awards, “Ridin’” beat the following songs to win “Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group”:
- “Georgia” by Field Mob, Ludacris & Jamie Foxx
- “Mighty O” by Outkast
- “Grillz” by Nelly, Paul Wall & Ali & Gipp
- “Don’t Feel Right” by The Roots
In the same year, it was nominated for “Best Rap Song” together with the following:
- “What You Know” (T.I.)
- “Kick, Push” (Lupe Fiasco)
- “It’s Goin’ Down” (Yung Joc)
- “Money Maker” by Ludacris ft. Pharrell