Some songs come out and have a lasting effect on you, whether it’s immediate or it takes a while to grow on you. Such was the case in the summer of 2003 when audiences were introduced to St. Louis rapper Chingy via his summer smash hit “Right Thurr”, becoming a breakout for the rapper.
With a promising start, Chingy was off to the races, releasing 4 albums, two of them being certified Platinum or multi-Platinum, and one certified Gold, and also a few of hit singles. But a rumored relationship with transgender model Sidney Starr would scar his rising career. The “One Call Away” rapper spoke with VladTV on the rumors, not denying that he did interact with Starr.
“I remember that day we had that show,” he said. “When me and Ludacris had that show in Chicago. The promoter had some girl dancers on stage that were dressed in body paint. Just for promotion. They were promoting whatever he wanted them to promote. And one who I thought was a young lady that came up to me that wanted a picture—I just took the picture. I thought she was a fan. I thought it was a young lady who was a fan. She seemed pretty cool. I took the picture. And that was it. Two years after that, I see something come out of some bull crap about this transsexual person was in a relationship with me. I was just like everybody else. I didn’t have a clue at what this person was talking about.”
The rapper then spoke about how the rumors negatively affected his career. “It goes to show you how many people wanted it to be true,” Chingy said. “That’s what it goes to show you. It goes to show you that that person who nobody knew had that much power to come out and say one negative thing about me and a whole mass of people just instantly took to it. And they didn’t have not one piece of evidence. Not one piece—a clue, nothing. They had nothing. They just had this person’s lie…It actually, it injured my career a little bit. I watched it happen. I lost a deal cause of that…It was said to me. Cause it was so much bad publicity around it…I’ve never been through a sabotage situation like that. And it was so fabricated and false.”
Sidney Starr, who went on to become a cast member on Love and Hip Hop: New York, did issue an apology in 2012 after the rumors swirled out of control. “I wanna give a huge apology to Chingy,” she said in her video. “I’m very, very sorry Chingy for anything that I caused to throw dirt on your name…I met him as a fan because I was a backup dancer. Chingy didn’t know anything about me. Didn’t know my background. He didn’t know I was transgender. I just need people to know that the things I said about Chingy weren’t true.”
Starr also interviewed with VladTV, where she continued to clarify her sentiments on the issue, as well as doubling down on her apology towards the rapper. “I’m not going to say anything bad about Chingy, I wish him the best in his life,” Starr said, referring to the rumors. “I made an apology video on WorldStarHipHop letting him know how apologetic I was about all of it but I will admit that I don’t agree with my situation and what happened with us and him losing his deal. I don’t agree with it being because of me. I honestly feel like there was more things before my situation came about anyway. I wasn’t the only person that kind of like said stuff… I will admit if it was [because of me] I’m sorry and if I could walk into Chingy’s face right now, I would let him know, ‘Look bro, I am so sorry that this happened.’”
She continued, “If I could have changed the hands of time, I would have never did that s**t. I would have [said], ‘Hold up, I ain’t [about to] do this s**t, no you do it and I’m just going to not say nothing and deny it.’ I was definitely not in the right mindset at that time in my life. I was just all about trying to get where I wanted to be and to get famous and it backfired.”
Chingy recently appeared on BET’s docuseries Finding, where he discussed his career currently, his feud with Ludacris and Nelly, and the rumors that led to his career decline. Although Starr apologized, it wasn’t enough to save his career he said. However, he continues to push through to make feel-good music. He’s also forgiven Sidney Starr.