FEATURE: Cam’ron, Rebirth

Sometimes the only person you really need is yourself. It seems that’s something Harlem MC Cam’ron has learned over the past two years since he first went on his hip-hop hiatus. Killa returned in February when he gave his first interview to XXL and appeared on the magazine’s April 2009 cover discussing the breakup of his crew, the New York rap outfit the Diplomats, his beef with old buddies and where he’s been while MIA. Since the interview, Cam has been hounded about his crumbling relationship with the Dipset and the possibility of a reunion while also promoting the release of his sixth solo album Crime Pays, which dropped this past Tuesday.

XXLMag.com recently caught up with Killa Cam to talk about his show at New York City’s Highline Ballroom last week (his first in over two years), the new album and why the idea of a Diplomats reunion and making up is just tired right now.

XXLMag.com: How have you felt about the response to your album so far? From radio and from fans?

Cam’ron: I mean, real good, you know? Our initial plan on the roll out of the album was, let’s not worry about the radio, let’s not worry about TV, as long as we get the advertisement going when people know the album is out. I really wasn’t stressing nothing being that the Internet is such a great tool to use right now. But MTV always showed a bunch of love and then always want my videos as longs as they clean and I just appreciate all the love from TV and radio is starting to pick up, everybody is kind of jumping back in Cam mode but initially our whole plan was just to go hard through the Internet and promotion and advertising. Definitely I’m appreciating all the love on the radio and on TV and on the Internet.

XXL: Is having a big first week of sales an important thing to you? Doesn’t really seem like you care that much about that part of things…

Cam: Well, I wouldn’t say I don’t care. But the thing with me is like, you know, not to put people in my business but just so people know and don’t get it confused, after I sell, after my record goes to like 175,000, after it reaches that I get like $4 a record so anything after, over 175, 000, even when it’s finished I make money so I’m pretty cool with that.

XXL: Any desire to beat Jim Jones’s first week sales? Do you wanna have a bigger week than him?

Cam: No, I’m not paying attention to that at all. It’s two different totally situations. Jim’s on a major label, I’m on an independent label so it’s two totally different scenarios but not in competition with them at all.

XXL: Last week you performed in New York City for the first time in two years. A lot of people were wondering what you were gonna do—bring Jim and Juelz Santana out to squash beef or diss them somehow and bring other guests out to make a statement. You wound up not really doing either, just bringing the new Diplomats out. Why didn’t you do anything? How do you feel that fans are even expecting more from you?

Cam: Well, you know, at the end of the day, a lot of people only really came to see me. I know people might have been expecting guests or so on and so forth but I only had an hour to be up there and my show was timed and it was only actually a little bit less than a hour and right now, to be honest, not saying New York ain’t rocking, I love New York but it’s only a few good New York songs out so I would’ve brought out anybody to really…like I said, you know, with Jim and Juelz, they doing they thing, I’m proud of them or whatever but everybody is kind of in their own lane so I definitely wasn’t gonna bring them out and I don’t really got too many otther friends in the music business like that anyway to reach out to.

XXL: This album doesn’t seem as New York sounding as some of your other LPs. Is that something that we hear differently or do you think it’s a conscious effort that you’ve made?

Cam: I still represent New York a million percent. I’m totally 100 percent a New York artist but you know I lived in Chicago for three years; I lived in Ohio for five years. It’s just when you go out and see other things, sometimes you just want to expand on that. You got people from New York who probably never left New York and they think that everything they hear on the radio in New York is all that’s going on. You may get to Houston and hear six or seven people on the radio that you never heard of before in your life and you like, ‘Who’s this on the radio?’ It’s just a big world and a lot of people just don’t get a chance to see it all but, you know, I’m a person that’s been fortunate enough to travel and see different things and hear different types of music and got a chance to sit around and see it’s nothing more crazy when you go to a club. I just took some of my new artists that I’m working with out to Miami and the number one song in the club was from a artist none of us knows and they like, ‘Yo, who’s this? I gotta get on this.’ I was like, ‘Yeah, now you getting out that zone ’cause you gotta realize it’s seven o’clock everywhere in every state, you know what I’m saying?’ There’s Funkmaster Flex’s all over this country.

XXL: We forget because sometimes we are just so New York centric…

Cam: Yeah, well, you know what it is, too. New York people just got the mentality, like, I’m from New York, we the best, kiss my ass. That’s just that. But it’s people everywhere, the money is green from New York to California man, so…

XXL: You think because the labels are based out of here and such that East Coast artists and industry people get caught up not paying attention to the rest of the country?

Cam: The labels are stupid because what happens is the labels are from up here and then you got these people from Atlanta or down South or the Midwest, wherever you wanna say they don’t have the labels, but they created they’re own vibe or formula or whatever to get their stuff rocking without the label so what happened is the labels jump on top of that like, “Oh, this is what’s hot.” Then they started getting played in New York when they already for they own thing, going on down South so it’s like a double whammy almost, no homo, like, it’s okay we can get the business done in New York. They already getting it done down South or in Atlanta to be more specific and it’s like two people hitting you at once to whereas it’s like, you’re from New York and the record company’s from New York so this is what you have to work with. Right now they’re not taking new artists and building them from the ground up. You have to get your own thing going.

XXL: Do you feel a lot of pressure to bring New York back? Or does that pressure not exist?

Cam: Nah, to me the way it works is, and that’s a lot of peoples’ misconception, I believe with music generally it doesn’t matter what area you from. I believe the way it goes is, make good music and then represent the city, the state or the part of the country that you’re from. Everybody wants you to jump on a record and say, ‘Yo, I’m from New York or I’m from here, I’m from there.’ Good music has to come before any of that because without good music, it doesn’t matter where you’re from.

XXL: It seems like publicly and my guess would be a lot of people privately too have tried to get you and Jim and everyone back together again. Is that something people have been bothering you a lot about? Are people always trying to push you back together?

Yeah.

XXL: Last month you told MTV that you and Jim had recently spoken on the phone. Right after that, in a few separate interviews, Jim denied that the two of you spoke on the phone then admitted he wasn’t telling the truth so everyone was confused as to what really happened and who was lying and who wasn’t. What did you think of all that?

Cam: Well, it didn’t bother me at all.

XXL: That didn’t bother you at all? And it didn’t hurt the chances of a Diplomats reunion at all? Or is that just a dead issue at this point?

Cam: At this point it’s kinda I’m moving on. I’m on to something different because, you know, at the end of the day I don’t like to drill on this ’cause it’s just like reoccurring over and over but it’s like, I don’t have to lie about a phone call and I didn’t understand the whole point of it because at that particular point I was kind of open minded to hearing what everybody had to say but you know that kind of just squashed that.

XXL: Being a longtime Diplomats fan and going to the show the other night, I didn’t really recognize many of the people onstage like I used to. You’re definitely entitled to have your differences and move on and do exactly what you’re doing but sometimes a fan misses the old crew. What do you say to a fan like that? Fuck it? Whatever? Shit happens?

Cam: Yeah that’s a good one, shit happens, gotta move on. Like I said, you never know what happens in the future but the immediate future, this year, any year, like I said I could say next year and they could be like next year they not with it but right now it’s nowhere in my near future at all.

XXL: What did you think of the Rick Ross/50 Cent Beef?

Cam: Well, you know, I thought it was good for hip-hop. It’s good to have those types of things going on for hip-hop. I thought it was real entertaining on both ends and I don’t know where it’s at now but I just looked at it as entertaining, I should say.

XXL: Are you at all tired of beef in hip-hop?

Cam: I’m not tired of it. I mean like I said—you know what it is—what’s good about it isn’t like everyday. You know even if it is everyday it dies down after a while and it does something else, resurfaces but I think it’s hot. I mean the same two people beefing for years I think is wack but when you got different joints, different people going on, I think It’s good. It’s always gonna be a place for it because somebody is not gonna like this person, somebody is not gonna like that music and especially with the Internet, everybody’s opinion can be viewed so quickly. I think there’s always gonna be a place for it. It’s always entertaining and it’s good for the game.-Vanessa Satten

  • O’niel

    FIRSTT!!!!!! STRAIGHT OUTTA VLISSINGENNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN , BLOEMELAAAAAAAAAAAAN hehe

  • http://www.xxlmag.com O’niel

    FIRST!! Straight OUTTA VLISSINGEN, BLOEMELAAN WARRUPP!!! hehe

  • PARIS PERSHUN

    KILLA!!!!!

    (LEANS BACK AND TURNS “WE BUILT THIS CITY” WAY WAY WAY WAY WAY WAY THE FUCK UP)))

    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
    THAT NIGGA SMASHED EVERYBODY ON THAT HOE!!!!

  • Curtis75Black

    That’s the biggest problem with Hip Hop listeners most of the time – Intelligence. What the fuck is a New York Sound ? It’s all music at the end of the day and if you’re just sittin’ back waiting for a specifc sound or style to be recaptured, you miss out on alot of good music !!

  • PARIS PERSHUN

    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
    YOU RIGHT, AND MOST NIGGAS KNOW THAT EXACT SHIT, BUT WILL STILL BASE SHIT ON WHERE A MUFUCKA FROM OR IF HE SAY SON OR YO IN THE FIRST LINE…HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA..

    • $ykotic

      I thought it was Pierzy!

      Commission!

  • The_Truth

    “just so people know and don’t get it confused, after I sell, after my record goes to like 175,000, after it reaches that I get like $4 a record so anything after, over 175, 000, even when it’s finished I make money so I’m pretty cool with that.

    This is what’s wrong with Hip-Hop. . .rappers (NOT artist) are more concerned with showing the money they’ll make rather than GOOD MUSIC. I wouldn’t give a FUCK if he get $2 or $2,000,000 JUST MAKE SURE MY $12.99 ISN’T WASTED!

    • http://www.datpiff.com/Dont_Panic_Entertainment_Max_Profit_The_Drugs_Ar.m44293.html Max Profit

      Everyone thinks about money it’s only natural!!
      Cam was talking about good music regardless of where your from. Why don’t you quote that?

  • GMan

    killa got that heat rock.. his cd is bangin co cop that

  • http://xxl ryan

    cam cd is nice. intro goes off lik hell. thats wat i lik about cam he doesnt let the industry affect wat he puts on record.

  • moresickaMC

    Cam & 50 should collab. NY unite

    • TonyStackz

      Hell nah b the way to re-unite NY it should be a all-star line up like Cam,Jadakiss,Busta,Nas,Ghostface,Fabolous shieet maybe even Fat Joe ya digg but not that nigga 5-0 dude makes NY look hella lame n homo!!!

      • jbird

        I second you on that one Tony!

    • drewz

      you are buggin….50 a fuckin faggot..and a snitch…he make us new yorkers look fuckin wack..and his music is the worst hip hop i heard since hip hop began…and no from jump street i thought he was wack…i threw get rich out the window……he fucked new yorks rep up…always beefin and aint have 1 fight with any of the niggas he beefin wit????come on we all know that shit is like wresteling…wwf…..i hope 50 dies>>>>>

  • Genral

    Cam is average. Always has been.

    Unless he can bring back the orginal crew – and reunite…. this chump is over.

    $175,000 cd’s sold… in his dreams! lol

  • LB

    I think it’s great that hehas tides in different areas of the country. And it’s good to see how he recognizes how it doesn’t benefit his career to be New York centric. The game may have started there (commercially) but certainly doesn’t end there.

  • LB

    Wow…my bad.

  • Keyser Soze

    Killa’s new album CRIME PAYS is dope! Cop it! You Won’t Be Sorry!!

    • @aLX_austN

      i downloaded it and i’m sorry.

  • lossotv

    yo this is what hip hop needs cam is back crime pays is crazy i still think its gonna be a diplomats reunion

  • Kahnight

    Cam always been average, did you ever listen to Confessions of Fire that is the best Rap album ever

    • Ja$e

      Confessions was def Cam’s best album. That shit was raw.. “Yo father where u want me to start how i love ladies, or i’m stud crazy, or how a thug made me with a drug baby….. fuc mom and father cries, when my girl got sodimized, i was dramatized. Shoved his dick down her throat and told her it was taste test, adn to take it deepthroat so she wouldn’t have to waste breath. I said fuc a AIDS test, cause i’m gonna go raw anyway, i’m the type that like to chase death.”

  • http://www.dailymathematics.blogspot.com/ Combat Jack

    Hey, thnaks for all the support over the years, but i must confess that i cheated on my beautiful wife with a man. Yes Combat Jack is GAY. Im truely sorry.

  • king blair

    well worth the 10 bucks at target 4 outta 5 the skits are funny as hell and the ninja goes off lyrically that Cookin Up is that piff

  • Genral

    Cam always been average, did you ever listen to Confessions of Fire that is the best Rap album ever
    ____________________________

    The best rap album ever??

    Average son, Average at best.

  • Maurice L Dees

    camron new cd well sell million, 200.000 in chicago eazy the man got a cult following in the chi-town.

  • CheddamanTX

    tell you the truth fuck what you think and fuck what ya heard GO GRAB THAT CRIME PAYS NOW!! Worth the money I promise. Just wann let you know cam we feelin you down here in TEXAS baby!!! Been rockin you and ain’t gonna stop. Made alot of folks real happy with this album CAM! Fuck the haters! just goes to show you what all those fags say when you take the dick out thier moutH. Diplomats one deep it’s always killa season!!! CHEESE!

  • spotlite

    Cam iz right you have to network on niggaz.Silly niggaz always think cause they from ny,ca,the south, that they have to limit their resources to just that area.Nigga like mims say MOVE!!Get out here beat the blocks, eventually that door go open for you.Especially if yo shit fire!

  • HERM

    Good to hear that Cam’s keeping it humble and staying on his grind. Forget Jimmy and Juelz. Album’s dope!

    “Nah, I tol’ shorty to curve. She like, ‘Curve??’ I’m like, ‘Curve!’”

  • Ra

    Welcome back Killa do U fuck everything everybody else standin in ur way I been waitin on ur return I need dat Killa Cam shit! (in ur words) “no homo” Holl@tchaboi!

  • Jhunz816

    @General

    WTF why would you even be readin a Cam article just so you can hate lmao where iz your life? lmao

    By the way did anybody hear that diss on Jay Z to “its goin down” that shyt was crazy dope.

  • Mat_Flyer

    all Goog Killa!

    Just wanna see ya hittin over and over again with that new artists if I can call The New DIPSET.

  • Pingback: Music News, IOmusic.net » Cam’ron, Big Boi, Clipse, Wale & the Cool Kids playing Sneaker Pimps in NYC & other shows

  • alderman

    “Every since Dana dane i made it rain, now in the strip club the benjis turn to paper planes, im Killa, you andre miller got a basic game, told yo b!tC# to hurry up we dont wait for trains, im derek jeter cause im in between the base my main”!!!!!! 1. COME HOME WITH ME 2. PURPLE HAZE 3. CRIME PAYS 4. SDE 5.KILLA SEASON 6. CONFESSIONS OF FIRE