FEATURE: Cam’ron, Here I Am 2.0

[Editor’s Note: These are the outtakes to the edited interview that appears in the April 2009 issue of XXL.]

XXLMag.com: So before starting press for this album, what was the last public appearnce you made?

Cam’ron: I was at a Lil Wayne concert ’bout three nights ago in Ohio. Lil Wayne, T-Pain, Keyshia Cole, Gym Class Heroes. I was up there last time.

XXL: Backstage? Watching the show?

Cam: Backstage just chillin’ out, watching the show with Lil Wayne. Because I was in Ohio, so I was over there checking them out being that he was in my town or whatever.

XXL: You’ve always had a connection to Ohio…business there, right?

Cam: Yeah, I had a couple clubs out there. I do a lot of First Of The Month parties out in Cincinnati, then I had bought my own club out in Columbus, Ohio. It’s very lucrative out there, so I went out there to take advantage of the situation.

XXL: So what’s your label status? There have been a lot of rumors of you going to different labels.

Cam: Yeah, that’s what I’m trying say. There’s a rumor that I’m signing back with Roc-A-Fella, like some of this stuff is out of control. My situation is I’m signed to Asylum and I owe Koch a Diplomat album. And I have a Killa Season 2 movie and soundtrack, which I don’t know exactly if that’s gonna be on Koch or Asylum, right now, we’re negotiating with both of them now. But me as an artist, I’m signed to Asylum, I never was going to SRC or whatever labels there was rumors about. That’s that, that’s the end of the story.

XXL: Do you think fans are too nosy, nothing’s ever enough?

Cam: Definitely. I would say that a million percent. But sometimes the fans just can’t get what they want.

XXL: When you say that you’re going to work on a Diplomats album is that with everybody? Or is that just you? Is that Diplomatic Immunity?

Cam: Nah, what happens is when I give Koch an album regardless I know Alan Grunblatt is gonna throw Diplomats on it whether it’s me and you on a song or me and my man Tito up here driving. He’s gonna put Diplomats on it regardless. So therefore that’s why I said that I owed him a Diplomat album.

XXL: You’ve said everyone owns a percent the Diplomats but you own the biggest percent. Have you made it a priority to try and own a lot of things along the way?

Cam: When I got to try to get killacam.com, I can’t get killacam.com because somebody in Nebraska owns it and he wants to charge me $150,000 for my own name on the website. I try to go get camron.com, or just different stuff where I feel it’s my name and somebody else owns it before. If you look at all our credits in our albums, it says Diplomatic Man and it doesn’t say Diplomats because when we was yelling out “Diplomats, Diplomats, Diplomats, Dipset” somebody from Canada owned that. And we couldn’t even use the Diplomat name. A lot of times people don’t even know, if you look in the credits of all the old albums, it says Diplomatic Man because we couldn’t own Diplomats. We were saying it but we couldn’t own it. But then their copyright ran out and I grabbed it. As soon as their copyright ran out, I had the date marked down and I made sure my accountant was on it so we could own it. But we was running around for two years saying “Diplomats,” “Dipset” and legally we couldn’t even use it. After we got the Diplomats brand, that’s when I started getting hats made and shirts made and so on and so forth.

XXL: How often do you stay in touch with Grunblatt?

Cam: We speak two, three times a week. That’s my man at the end of the day. Alan offered me an A&R job two and a half years at Koch. I turned it down, I’m not going to work everyday, sittin’ in meetings, marketing meetings. I’m not doing that.

XXL: Does Jim’s new position at Koch make him your boss at all?

Cam: What’s his position?

XXL: There was recently news that Jim has a new big A&R position at Koch.

Cam: No, at the end of the day Jim is not my boss over there because all I have to do over there is turn in my album. And that’s that. I don’t have to have a meeting; I don’t have to talk to nobody. I turn my album in and I get my money and I’m out. I only owe them one album. And I never had an A&R and that’s not disrespecting Jim or nobody else. I don’t do A&R because I already have my own vision.

XXL: Then you also gotta care about other people’s projects, right?

Cam: Exactly. That’s what I’m saying, and a lot of times I got a good ear but I’m just not with going into the office everyday and sitting there doing that. I could do that with my own artists and sell my own distribution company.

XXL: What happened with the Tru Life incident? What is true that he punched you in your eye or something? What happened there? ’Cause the timing coincided with all the other stuff…

Cam: Basically everything kinda happened back to back to back. With him what happened was he was with a few people, I was by myself, about three or four of them, they had the drop on me. They swung, nobody touched my face, nobody decked me, nobody did nothing like that. Ever. But they definitely had the drop on me. I was downtown by myself. It was about four or five of them. But nobody got punched in the face, no punches was thrown. They was right, they had they little things on them, they was right. I wasn’t and that was the end of it.

XXL: Do you find yourself protecting yourself a lot more because of that and because of when you were shot?

Cam: Yeah.

XXL: So do you live a different life because of that?

Cam: Different life? Nah, you gotta realize this is like the drug game. If you don’t wanna be prepared for everything that come, get out the game. Go be working. Go be a librarian. Know what I’m saying? That’s like somebody that play football and get hit and then be like, “Why’d he hit me so hard?” This is part of the game. I knew this coming in. And at the end of the day, this is sweet. I think music is way sweeter than what I was doing way before this, so hell no, I don’t protect myself. I was protecting myself when I was living on 140th and Lenox, in the tenement everyday with mice running across my feet. Waking up with roaches in my pajamas. That’s way worse than anything that be going on in that music business.

XXL: What do you think of the music business right now anyway?

Cam: I think music is great. A lot of people are like, “Ahhh, the Internet,” this, that and the third, but if you promote and market yourself right then you’ll do good. Great example of that is Lil Wayne who sold a million records in a week last year.

XXL: When they said it was impossible to sell a million records in a week.

Cam: Exactly. You got Kanye who just put out an album majority singing and sold 450,000 albums. You got T.I. that sold 550,000 copies. Even when Kanye and 50 Cent came up, pardon me, Curtis came up, they sold 800,000 and 900,000. It’s great. It’s great. It’s all about marketing and doing your stuff right. People come out and don’t do the sales they supposed to do or they think they supposed to do and it’s like, “Ahhh, the Internet is messed up and…” Nah, it’s about marketing and promoting right and it’s about if people really want you.

XXL: But if your shit’s good, there’s no denying it.

Cam: Exactly. That’s the moral of the story.

XXL: The Internet is a great tool if you can figure out the right way to use it.

Cam: Exactly. If you sit there and put your whole album on the Internet and nothing else and then it doesn’t come out for six months, then yeah, you’re going to get robbed and pillaged and it’s not going to be a great look. But if you sit there and do the little DVDs and promote and the video clips and blogs and let people know what’s going on it’ll be a great tool to market.

XXL: Are you surprised at all by Jim’s musical success?

Cam: I mean that’s another thing that people ask me like, Yo… People say, “Jim and them is doing this and…” I fought for them to get deals. I’m the one who told people that these kids was gon’ be stars, you understand what I’m saying? Def Jam didn’t wanna sign Jim or Juelz. I had to go in there and prove a point. Without them Diplomat mixtapes and keep beating people over the head, no homo, with songs…

XXL: And then there was “Hey Ma” and “Oh Boy,” that whole run there that was really big for you guys, it really set you up.

Cam: You can ask Dame Dash, when I used to tell them, “Yo, Jim is gon’ rap,” they used to be laughing. They used to think I was joking. But I was like, “Nah, you gon’ see,” ’cause at that time… not like laughing at Jim in a bad way, but like, “Come on, Jim’s not gonna rap.” I was like, “Watch. I’m telling you.” I used to tell Dame that all the time when we was at Roc-A-Fella but nobody kind of like took me serious. But I already seen it.

XXL: If you were an editor at XXL, who would you wanna read about right now?

Cam: If I was an editor at XXL, the only person I’d wanna read about is myself because I’m the most interesting thing out there besides the flyest, handsomest, best rapper that you’ll ever meet. Who else would you wanna read about?-Vanessa Satten

  • Mutada al sader the king

    Damn man if this is coming out in April, than this just shows how out of date these articles we get in XXL are. Ya’ll need to pour some more resources into the webzine, cuzz I aint bought an XXL issues since the Dre, EM, 50 cover and dont plan to in the future.

    • Keoni

      This muhammad Jihad ass nigga is just broke as heel that’s why he hasn’t bought a magazine. Keep doing ya thing XXL.

      • valdez

        he prolly ain’t bought a mag in a while cause xxl has fallen off. i know that’s why i ain’t bought one, lol.

  • http://www.uptownempire.com Trouble

    LOL at no one wanting to give Jim and Juelz a deal, that just makes that disloyalty shit hurt more. Especially with Dame broke ass ridin Jims nuts now.
    Cam seems like a real authentic dude, I cant wait for “Crime Pays”, I hope they do another “Diplomatic Immunity” album but they should try to stay together, they make more money as DIPSET.

  • Rae Tha Great

    Man Cam give like the the best interviews next to Kanye & Jay-Z. PEACE

  • these posts are racist

    “But then their copyright ran out and I grabbed it. As soon as their copyright ran out, I had the date marked down and I made sure my accountant was on it so we could own it.”

    Cam, doesn’t know what he’s talking about here. It isn’t a “copyright”, it’s a trademark and an accountant cannot do it, a lawyer has to…he probably doens’t even own the trademark to this logo, but rather has an LLC with Diplomat in the name, just my suspicion since everything he said doesn’t make legal sense.

    • http://xxlmag.com $hawty Reg

      @ these post are racist

      Amen! I’m glad somebody recognized how wrong that shit sounded. But that “Get It In Ohio” go hard

      New Orleans in the buildin!

      The Real CIRLCLE Entertainment…..google us!

  • LB

    Umm, to the “these posts are racist” guy…He doesn’t have to use a lawyer for that smart ass.

    • thes posts are racist

      Um, to LB, yes he does. To assert your rights under trademark law, you need a lawyer. To file for a trademark you don’t, but if somone else is using the logo you need a lawyer to assert your exclusive ownership over it. Moreover…such a trademark wouldn’t “expire” that doesn’t make sense. He’s mispeaking. I love Cam, but he’s off here.

      • hawaiian

        im pretty sure the accountant comment refers to getting his accountant ready to buy the trademark/copyright/whatever when the previous owners “lease” had expired.

        im sure lawyers were involved as well, I didn’t realise Cam had to explain all the legal complexities of trademark law in a XXL interview

    • FlapJack

      Using your accountant for that definetly seems wierd tho

  • ee-city

    at this point i dont want jim jones anywhere near cam-no homo
    jim is like doing really horrible music right now, his verses are wack as hell,
    only god knows what juelz is doing, but that skull gang joint aint getting no play where im at. maybe theyll listen to juelz verse and forward the rest
    cam rite now is on point, lets not mess with that

  • http://thisis50.com ryder4real

    They was right, they had they little things on them, they was right. I wasn’t and that was the end of it.??????.!!!!! THIS COMING FROM SOMEONE WHO SAID HE WOULDNT TELL ON A SERIAL KILLER BUT HE WILL DRY SNITCH ON TRUE LIFE KAM U’S A FAGGOT B JUST LIKE 50 SAID YOU BEEN DEMOTED TO SOILDER JIMMYS THE BOSS NOW YOU TURN YOUR CD IN ALAN AND JIM PICK THE FINAL SONGS GO HEADBUTT A FORK SNITCH ASS NIGGA

  • Keyser Soze

    Killa Cam is The Man! I can’t wait until Crime Pays drops.

  • Tommy Kreed

    ok, cam is my man but he said “they had the drop on me, they swung, but they didnt touch my face.” Then my dude says some craziness like “no punches were thrown” in the next sentence. On some real, Killa is a lying story manipulating ass nigga. He still Jaffe Joe and all that, but damn Killa. I cant defend u at the barbershop wit statements like this.

    • chitchat

      Yeah I was wondering wut exactly they “swung” since no punches were thrown. He’d be better off just sayin he got punched in the face.

  • Master Cheef

    does anything ever happen with cam in the beginning of the day?

    • FlapJack

      hahahaahah

  • Stevie B

    First Cam is not hot im not going to be all ignorant about it and i am not going to respond to ignorance either.
    Second I can not stand a liar. He says he did not get punched in the face are you serious? Everybody knows he got punched in the face. I was listening to the radio when this guy calls into angie martinez show and says “I was in my car stuck in traffic and saw tru life punch cam in the face”. This dude had no affiliation with cam or tru. To make shit worse like 20 random people called the station saying they saw it. It was in front of a club.
    Listen Im not hating on cam at all sometimes you lose a fight just dont lie about it.

  • Santino

    I think killa was classic killa…flamboyant and interactive but still a type of hardcore leader…i wanna thank the xxl journalist who interviewed him you asked all the right question to bring out the DADDYWARBUCK$ in him.
    _Santino

  • yoprince

    i fucks with cam.. but why is he lying?? Dude definitely got mopped in the face.. it’s not the end of the world, win some, lose some.

  • GI JOE

    1ST of all Cam’ron got put on due to the co-sign of Biggie. Now if thats the KING OF NEW YORK, you cant dispute that. When Killa was comin’ up, he was A-1 with the flow. C.O.C was the shit and all his albums were fire. So I cant hate Killa now just cause the game has changed. Especially if I didnt hate him before. Thats bandwagon shit!!

    Im from the South, Texas to be specific. I was raised upon the YO MTV RAPS and VIDEO SOUL days in the early 90′s. And the RAP CITY era of Joe Claire and Big Les. So I could never hate on a NY rapper from the late 80′s to mid 90′s. That South vs North is some bullshit. Niggas frontin’ like NY wasnt on the TV screen everyday all day, and the radio down here.

    The KOOL MO D, BIG DADDY KANE, RAKIM ERIK B, DAS FX, EPMD, RUN DMC! C’mon mayne, Im only 23 and I looked up to all those cats when I was comin’ up. Hight top fades, the lines on each side, rope chains, and nikes. All that hatin’ aint nothin’. We know where it started, but it rotated.

    The only thang down here that was in roation with little promotion was on was RAP-A-LOT, SUAVEHOUSE, NO LIMIT, DJ SCREW & THE S.U.C.

  • FLYTE DA FLY BOY

    Cam I’m ridin witcha my nig.