Howard Bailey Jr, best known as Chingy, is an American rapper and actor, born on March 9, 1980 in St. Louis, Missouri. While his music simply adheres to the Hip Hop genre, Chingy is best known for plain delivery of lyrics in upbeat music. His familiarity with singing in a nursery rhyme style makes him largely popular with the youth. He developed a taste for music at the early age of 9, the same time he wrote some of his first lyrics. Growing up in the Walnut Park area of the St. Louis neighborhood, he joined a local group called Without Warning, recording a local hit “What’s Poppin Off”.
Chingy made a brief entrance in to the popular Hip Hop scene with American Rapper Nelly in the summer of 2002. While Nelly was touring the states and performing in various venues, Chingy did an opening act with the Grammy winner. However, it was Chingy’s 2003 debut single “Right Thurr” that caught the eye of the crowd. The 4 minute, Southern Hip Hop classic became an instant hit, charting at #2 for a 4 consecutive weeks on the Billboard Hot 100. It also topped the Hot Rap Songs list and was #2 and #5 on the Hot R&B & Hip-Hop Songs and Mainstream Top 40 charts. It was around this time that Ludacris, together his Chingy’s manager Chaka Zulu picked up the rising star and signed him to the label Disturbing tha Peace. A few weeks after the release of “Right Thurr”, Chingy released his debut album, Jackpot (2003). Because of the success of the single, the album managed to sell 2 million copies under the Capitol Records label. The album featured guest appearances from stars of the Hip Hop scene, including Snoop Dogg, Murphy Lee, I-20, Raindrop and Tity Boi. Singles such as “One Call Away” and “Holidae In” became instant hits as well. With the success of his first album, Chingy released his second album, Powerballin’ a year later. This album was just as successful as its predecessor, selling one million copies and achieving platinum status. The single “Balla Baby” became a popular choice amongst Chingy’s fans.
After a break from music for 2 years, Chingy made another star return to a changed music industry with his third album, Hood Star (2006). This effort generated singles such as “Pulling Me Back” that topped the Hot Rap Tracks chart, leading the album to debut at #8. The album managed to achieve a gold rating a few weeks later. Chingy seemed to have lost his genius touch in production, when his fourth album, Hate It or Love It (2007) only charted at #84, making it the first to have failed to enter the top 10 list. The album included a single “Fly Like Me”, featuring American recording artist Amerie. In recent times, Chingy has had some trouble with securing budgets for his future projects, and continues to work on another album which was set to be released in 2012.
Alongside singing and producing Hip Hop records, Chingy is also an occasional actor. In 2005, he made his acting debut by appearing on the comedy sitcom, My Wife and Kids. In 2006, he made a guest appearance on Yo Momma. His most recent endeavor has been an appearance on the third season of Couples Therapy in 2013.