As one Texas’ premier underground rappers/entrepreneurs, Chingo Bling has achieved a level of independent success that only a few in his generation have accomplished. Dubbed the Latin Russell Simmons because of his ability to skillfully parley himself into a remarkably successful brand, selling thousands of CDs, bobble-head dolls, coloring books, DVDs, t-shirts, hot sauce and tamales. “I always looked up to Master P, J. Prince, Tony Draper, Puffy and Russell Simmons,” says Chingo. “All of them built strong brands so it just made sense to me that I had to build my brand like that. If I was gonna name myself as an artist and name my CD then I had to brand it. I had to name my label and make it the biggest thing going.” Chingo Bling was born Pedro Herrera III in Houston to Mexican American emigrants who came to the United States with dreams of achieving the American dream for themselves and their children. His father set the example by working several jobs to ensure that his family had all they needed. He even worked a side gig selling tamales made by Chingo’s mother to his fellow workers at lunch time. Like many emigrant families, times were tough but the Herrera family made do. “ We always lived real simple,” recalls Chingo. “We just had everything we needed and we were happy. We had the basics: beans, rice . . . the staples. We were happy with the simple things in life.” Another one of the simple things in Chingo’s life was music.