Cam’ron And A-Trak Re-Assert Their Relevance At NYC Show
Featuring a highly-indecisive crowd of rare OG Dipset fans sprinkled amongst a mass of EDM punters with pupils wider than the Atlantic Ocean, the aesthetic at Saturday night’s Cam’ron and A-Trak collaboration show was a bit confused. The Dipset fans were discerned by their extensive Killa lyrical knowledge, meanwhile whisepers of, “Ugh, wrap it up,” escaped the mouths of the impatient A-Trak supporters from the back of the venue.
A-Trak warmed the show up and wound the show down, spinning a veritable feast of early 2000s joints by the likes of Petey Pablo and Ma$e while weaving in visceral house remixes which were offensive to everyone but the clichéd “electro-chicks.” Although A-Trak impressed many with his ability to smoothly transition between dissimilar genres in an attempt to gratify both crowds, it was evident that core Diplomats followers were solely there to see the Dipset fiesta that was about to unfold.
As Killa Cam emerged in a relaxed denim ensemble and some shades, it was hard not to mourn for the glory days where baby pink fur and strong all-red looks were the status quo. As he opened with crowd favorite “Killa Cam” followed by “Get Em Girls” from Purple Haze, it was clear that some of the vigor in his voice had dwindled with age. That’s not to say that Cam didn’t invest himself in the performance; it was evident that collaborating with A-Trak has given his sound a fresh new twist. Briefly touching on Killa Season with ritual chants of “d-d-d-damn!” in “Wet Wipes,” a disgruntled Cam asked why someone in the crowd would throw one dollar at him and not one hundred.
At one point Cam buzzed that a special Dipset guest was at the venue—with the obvious guess being Juelz Santana given the recent “Dipshits” buzz—and a very animated Jim Jones leapt into the forefront, greeting Cam with bro-handshakes and hi-fives. Jones gave a stand out performance of his classic “We Fly High,” with crowd members intermittently yelling “ballin!” throughout. Though A-Trak was supposedly “mixing” Cam’s classics, it wasn’t even really necessary that he be present, except to show his face when tracks from the upcoming Federal Reserve record were performed.
The floor shook as “Hey Ma” and “Oh Boy” kicked off, and fragments of Cam’s youthful spirit trickled through into his live show. A-Trak and Just Blaze grabbed the spotlight as “It’s Dipset You Dipshits” echoed through Terminal 5. In an almost too-cute scene, Cam, Blaze and A-Trak swayed with their arms around one another chanting the lyrics, as Jim Jones stood to the side frantically taking selfies.
Regardless of the fact that at times it felt the show was a little forced, it’s inspiring that Cam’ron continues to expand his sound after more than a decade in the game. His willingness to experiment is giving him relevance in the sphere of contemporary music, as well as introducing a new crowd to his sound—a crowd who would have never been exposed to his music otherwise. —Ava Nirui