Public Enemy #1

If 2006 was the year people began to realize just how shitty rap music has gotten, 2007 will go down as the year of the publicity stunt. Rappers are attempting to convince people to buy their albums by turning the release of said albums into some sort of event, and damnit if it isn’t actually working.

A few months ago, Kanye West and 50 Cent got a shiteload of people to run out and cop their albums by turning the release date into a battle against one another and hence a battle for the very soul of hip-hop. By purchasing Curtis or Graduation, you weren’t just lining some TI’s pockets, you were making a statement about which type of hip-hop made by people who can hardly rap you prefer – the kind that’s primarily concerned with violence, or the kind that’s primarily concerned with materialism.

Jay-Z tied the release of his latest masterpiece, American Gangster, to the release of the film of the same name. It’s yet to be revealed whether or not Jay received any money from the studio that released American Gangster, but I’m sure they’re pleased as punch either way. It did ridonkulously well in the theaters this past weekend, even beating out that damn Jerry Seinfeld bee movie. And it looks like the Jay-Z album is poised to be his 10th album to debut at number one. I doubt it’ll sell quite as well as Curtis or Graduation, since listening to a Jay-Z album these days is like forcing yourself to watch the movie Scarface, but whatever. I’m just saying that because I hate to see black people do something positive.

When I heard, a few weeks ago, that Jim Jones was planning to release a mixtape called Harlem’s American Gangster, to coincide with the release of the Jay-Z album, I figured it might be the best idea ever. And it probably would have been, if it wasn’t such an awful listen. Last year, I found it so hilarious when Jim Jones kinda stole the thunder from Jay’s coming out of retirement with “We Fly High” – a song people actually liked, compared to crap like “Show Me What You Got.” Imagine if Capo had actually managed a similar feat this time out. It’s times like these when possessing a modicum of talent really comes in handy.

Speaking of which, it’s too bad Cam’ron’s career is probably not going anywhere anytime soon, since I think we can all agree he’s a much better rapper than Jim Jones. (We can agree on something, right?) A few years ago, he managed to endear himself to cracka-ass crackas with that Purple Haze album, and even it didn’t sell as well as that album he put out when he was on Roc-A-Fella. And since then, his career has been a downward of bad decisions, and, in many cases, even worse rap music. Only the most determined of LCD rap apologists could pretend that they liked Killa Season. His plan to release an album called Courtesy Curtis would have been at least hilarious, if not a brilliant marketing strategy, but he never did. Instead he just kinda disappeared for most of the year.

I’m usually at a loss for why giving out so much music for free on mixtapes is such a brilliant promotional strategy, but I can kinda see how it would be in Cam’ron’s case. It’s been a while since he put out anything, let alone anything that anyone liked. If he was just to put out an album this quarter, that shit would probably do Players Circle numbers – when there’s no reason, if we account for talent, the his shit should sell any worse than a Fiddy, or a Kanye, or a washed-up Jay-Z.

So the other day, Cam’ron put out a mixtape called Public Enemy #1. He was going to make a full-on event of it, by handing out copies of it in front of the legendary Apollo Theater, but of course he didn’t show up. I’m sure he’ll claim that he was busy somewhere giving a girl a dirty sanchez (which he raps about a lot on this tape), but my first thought was that he must have been afraid that he would be shot if he actually showed up. In interviews this week, as well as on the tape itself, he’s made it a point to note that he spent the summer taking care of his mother down in Florida. Now, I’m willing to believe that his mother is laid-up down in Florida somewhere, but you’d think he could have made an appearance in New York at some point or another, especially given the rumors circulating about him. And he never did offer much of an explanation for that black eye he had, did he?

As far as the mixtape itself, i.e. the music on the thing, it’s not that bad, but it’s not that good either. The production is definitely a mixed bag. There isn’t a single “keyboard beat” on it that struck me as an especially good idea, but some of the ones where he raps over pop hits from the ’70s and ’80s are a frickin’ riot. He should put out an entire mixtape of nothing but those, especially since he probably couldn’t put any of them on his actual albums anyway. I wasn’t about to make myself listen to the whole thing just for the sake of journalism, but the raps on the parts I heard were incredible – probably as good as anything on his past couple of albums.

  • b-ease

    It’s sad that Cam starts making decent music again when nobody is ever going to give a shit anymore…almost as sad as Prodigy going to jail (hope they have good sickle cell treatments!)and nobody even being aware, much less give a fuck.

    that Jim Jones mixtape is hilarious for all the wrong reasons and the Jay album is as much of a concept record as Graduation, which is to say, not much.But it’s still good. But not as good as Getback.

  • these posts are racist

    Did you really call Jay-Z “washed up”?

    Are you serious? Did you actually listen to “American Gangster”?

  • Worley

    You right about 50 and Kanye. That was simply a choice between the bad nigger and the good nigger. I bought the bad nigger and bootlegged the good nigger. You know, black people need the bad nigger. That’s all that stands between us and oblivion. Nobody is worried about the good nigger. The Man will just put out some new clothes and cars to keep him running this way and that.

    • http://www.myspace.com/rileymayhem20 Jibreel Riley

      that’s a wild synopsis, the good nigger vs. the bad nigger

  • Ghost Deini

    Wow. Did you just say someting kinda positive about a rapper??

  • Mpho

    Bol, u getting soft B, u ain’t supposed to be giving these rappers positive reviews nigga…. but fuck that shit, that Public Enemy had a Gazillion lines that where hilarious or standouts.. “You Actin Funny Ho?” or how bout “I’m like Biggie Smalls, Eye Lazy” lol.. Killa is back you fuckin Yentaz..

  • Tyler

    Great post Bol, I am diggin’ on the Cam joints as well. They are cool in a funny sort of way. He should have showed up at the Apollo. Just think of how many albums he could have pulled if he had gotten shot and I know people ‘dat could have hook’d that up for him. Word!
    SolutionsGlobalMedia.com aka SGM7.com
    Love it or Hate it, Tell a Friend.

    • Tray

      You know what your problem is? You’ve never been anywhere. The dudes you dealing with are like a #9 at McDonald’s, filet of fish.

      I thought it was great when he referred to oxygen as H2O.

  • Pingback: American Singles » Public Enemy #1

  • yaman

    fuck, bol, u know scarface is tha shit u hater lol

  • Faggotry

    By purchasing Curtis or Graduation, you weren’t just lining some TI’s pockets, you were making a statement about which type of hip-hop made by people who can hardly rap you prefer – the kind that’s primarily concerned with violence, or the kind that’s primarily concerned with materialism.

    Well played.

  • T.R.E.Y.

    i see Bol’s back to making re-tahded simplified “criticisms” of ‘Ye. it’s aight man, keep bumpin’ that Def Jux. REAL intelligent rap!

    however, props for correctly calling Jim Jones’s album on being a piece of shit. i don’t think even the most devoted Dipstans could argue that.

  • Casper

    Lol @ Worley

    This was pretty good. My ADD usually causes me to skim, but I read this all the way through

  • Wordplay

    man, nobody even has to say anything about this stupid mothafucka anymore, he literally destoryed any type of credibility he could have ever carried himself…

    “I wasn’t about to make myself listen to the whole thing just for the sake of journalism…”

    thas jus pathetic man, i mean i knew u were dumb, foolish, n petty, but this? I don’t even know what to say about it…

  • gerald n. the birdman

    “I’m sure he’ll claim that he was busy somewhere giving a girl a dirty sanchez (which he raps about a lot on this tape),…”

    2GIRLS1CUP.COM

    Coprophilia = It’s the latest craze!!!

  • G

    “There isn’t a single “keyboard beat” on it that struck me as an especially good idea, but some of the ones where he raps over pop hits from the ’70s and ’80s are a frickin’ riot. He should put out an entire mixtape of nothing but those, especially since he probably couldn’t put any of them on his actual albums anyway.”

    COSIGN. Purple Haze was a classic because of the flawless production. Cam’ron sounds best over dark orchestral samples and 70s & 80s pop, as you point out.

    The keyboard-based beats he used for half Killa Season and half of this mixtape are poor in comparison.

  • http://yahoo CaesarDuke

    I got a question for you Bol why do you hate to see black people do something better doing something that’s crazy and if you can explain why i want to know

  • http://yahoo CaesarDuke

    I got a question for you Bol why do you hate to see black people do something better doing something that’s crazy and if you can explain why i want to know

  • http://yahoo CaesarDuke

    I got a question for you Bol why do you hate to see black people do something better doing something that’s crazy and if you can explain why i want to know

  • jg420

    gerald n. the birdman says:

    “I’m sure he’ll claim that he was busy somewhere giving a girl a dirty sanchez (which he raps about a lot on this tape),…”

    2GIRLS1CUP.COM

    Coprophilia = It’s the latest craze!!!

    ^^^^Dude you just fucked me up for life with that SHIT

  • gerald n, the birdman

    Sorry dogs. I just had to share my pain.

  • JAYSTONE

    since listening to a Jay-Z album these days is like forcing yourself to watch the movie Scarface, but whatever
    <<<<<<<<<<<>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Go kill yourself faggot.go and listern to rock or some shit.

  • hiphop

    We can go track for track on any Camron Album:
    Confession of fire
    SDE
    Come home with me
    Purple Haze
    Killa Season

    Killa Season had the best production then the other albums, just on the other albums he made better songs.

  • ty

    Cam and the word “incredible” shouldn’t be used in the same sentence.

  • te noh

    Jay’s new shit is hot. That’s what people on the streets are sayin. Of course, you gotta come out of your mommy’s basement to hear that.

    Jay, Pharaohe, Little Brother, Devin, and ‘Ye are bringing back hip-hop. Quit talkin about the Dips. Let them die a slow and natural death. If it weren’t for faggots like you on their dick no one (with a brain) would care.

  • Pierzy

    First of all, I agree that “Cam and the word “incredible” shouldn’t be used in the same sentence.” That’s an excellent point.

    Secondly, American Gangster is a fantastic album from start to finish – I would call it flawless but I still don’t understand why he put a song that’s nearly three years old ["Ignorant Shit"] and does not coincide with the rest of the album’s concept in the middle. But what do I know? It’s not like I’m the president of Def Jam who has LL so angry he keeps licking his lips to prevent himself from foaming at the mouth.

    • megagavelli

      concept? there is no concept to american gangster…since when is it a concept to go watch a flick, get all geeked up over it and then make a WHOLE album pretending that you are the guy from the movie??? WOW. besides that i cant bear to hear the same guy bragging for 10 years–really, and wtf with him repeating lines right after he raps them to “explain” how hot he is…dude is quickly becoming a real insecure nut job…ok, so you made a “funny”–we got your stupid analogy the first time, no need to repeat it–its not like your spittin stephnn hawking theoretical physics or anything…

  • AZ40

    Purple Haze was actually released on Roc-A-Fella, check the back of the album. American Gangster was mediocre but the sad thing is Jay-z is not at his best and he’s still better than the majority of rappers. Cam used to be a good lyricist but now he’s somebody to listen to for a good laugh. Oh yeah I never saw his black eye or Tru Life’s album LMFAO

  • King B

    bol- “I’m just saying that because I hate to see black people do something positive.”

    damn bol you got a fucked up state of mind you fat ass blogger

  • http://hiphoponmymind.blogspot.com/ DJ Daddy Mack

    Cam is nothing but jokes.

  • princerudynasim

    bol ur the man even though the scar face was efed up but this cam mixtape is amazing n u giving props should say something PPL THE FUNNIEST OF ALL HATERS (READ HIS ALBUM REVIEWS LOL) HAS GIVEN CAM PROPS THE GUY IS BACK IN THE BUILDING FULL EFFECT

  • http://XXL JACOB

    “LIKE FORCING YOURSELF TO WATCH SCARFACE”….DAT SHIT WAS FUNNY, CAUSE I DID DAT SHIT A FEW DAYS AGO WHEN FACE WAS ON CABLE…I WATCHED IT BECAUSE I ALMOST FELT OBLIGATED TO…LOL…BUT AFTER THAT LAST ALBUM KINGDOM COME, I DUNNO…FUGG OBLIGATION!!

  • http://www.myspace.com/sinistahmoneybagz Sinistah aka The Unknown

    i neva lost faith in Cam, i jus wanted to ask him what da fuck was up wit dat “huey, duey, louie, rootie, tootie, boogety boo” shit, glad he got back on his “Sports, Drugs, and Entertainment” grizzly!!!!

    both CD’s pure crack witout a few “WTF” moments on da first one, i can fuck wit it!

    wtf moments on CD = the 2nd songs mixdown and hatian chick shit skit…..

    wtf moment in this thread = dude who posted dat 2girls1cup link, i ain’t see dat shit but i heard what its about you disgusting bastid, lol!!!

  • BIG RON

    cam is pure garbage so is jen jones 50 album is o.k. kayne’s album is tight now u have to give hov some props this album is dope but u hate on hov all time so why don’t u judge rock music or find a lady u freaking lame ass homo!e.n.y.standup

  • moresickaMC

    Honestly i could go past the first half of cd1…his flow is boringly tedious..even though he throws in a clever line here and there. that nursery flow needs to be changed, he’s putting swag over lyricism

  • moresickaMC

    by the way, Bol what do you think of the 60,early 70s vibe resurgence? what with amy winehouse,dap kings,american gangster now anthony hamiltons single?

    Personally I’m loving it. we need real msuic back again..

  • BLACKMAN

    GOOD SHIT BOL…THE FIRST SONG ON THAT MIXTAPE “WHY THEY” IS CRAZY..CAM GOT SOME CRAZY ASS PUNCHLINES..HES A FUNNY MOTHAFUKKA, ONE OF THE FUNNIEST DUDES IN RAP, DATS WHY WE STILL TALKIN BOUT HIM, EVEN THO HE AINT HAD A ALBUM OUT IN 3YEARS…

  • BossGame

    What do you think about this Bols

    On 09/19/07 Cpl. Disarro received and email from a concerned parent regarding a new drug called
    “Jenkem”. The parent advised their child learned about this drug through various conversations with
    several students at Palmetto Ridge High.
    Jenkem originated in Africa and other third world countries by fermenting raw sewage to create a gas
    which is inhaled to achieve a high. Jenkem is now a popular drug in American Schools.
    Jenkem is a homemade substance which consists of fecal matter and urine. The fecal matter
    and urine are placed in a bottle or jar and covered most commonly with a balloon. The
    container is then placed in a sunny area for several hours or days until fermented. The contents
    of the container will separate and release a gas, which is captured in the balloon. Inhaling the
    gas is said to have a euphoric high similar to ingesting cocaine but with strong hallucinations of
    times past.
    Once ingested the onset of the high takes approximately 10 seconds with the most severe hallucinations
    happening in approximately 20 minutes. Several articles indicate that the subject immediately passes out
    after ingesting the gas then regains a magical/hallucinogenic state within seconds of regaining
    consciousness. The high has been described by subjects as a feeling of “being out of it” and talking to
    dead people. The feeling of being “out of it” may last for several hours or days.
    All subjects who used the Jenkem disliked the taste of sewage in their mouth and
    the fact that the taste continued for several days.
    Slang terms: Winnie, Shit, Runners,

  • bizzle

    b ease your a backpack rap homo…that consious little brother bullshit is garbage. I rahter listen to prodigy and mobb deep over those clowns anyday. Nobodys trying to hear that backpack shit. And cam killed it on the mixtape.

  • chris

    i agree about the part with curtis/graduation, i bought neither(50 started falling off with massacre) but i liked killa season, and im waiting for cam’s next release

  • Combat Jack

    ^”but the raps on the parts I heard were incredible”

    Co-sign. Sux that Cam can be such a beast on the mike, but places more attention on his continuously silly publicity stunt inspired gimmicks.

  • GMAN

    cams mixtape is tight and i liked killa season i still listin to it. hes better then 85 percent then the shits out

  • mannyworld33

    toilet bol! i see sum things never change. u still hatin’ on jay while dickridin’ the dips. cam fell off a long time ago good production saved him on previous records but now that he’s using “unknown producers”(cheap keyboard beats)he has been exposed. just like bol was exposed on that infamous interview,lol
    that shit was classic…

    • DUNFIYA

      YO STAR, THIS IS FAR YU.CAM IS USIN THE SAME PRODUCERS HEATMAKERS AND GOES TO SHOW HOW REAL HE IS,HE GIVES ASPIRING PRODUCERS A CHANCE TO GET THEIR SHINE.UNLIKE MOST RAPPERS THAT RUN BEHIND DRE,DIDDY,JUST BLAZE,KANYE,PHARRELL, AND TIMBO.THATS WHY HE CAN PUT OUT MORE TRACKS AND GIVE FANS DIFFERENT SOUND.HES “REAL” THATS WHY HE HAS SO MANY FANS BUT EVERYBODY CLAIMS HE FELL OFF.THIS CAT OWNS THE STREETS NOT AIRWAVES OR BET BUT THE STREETS.YOU CAN KEEP THAT COMMERCIAL RUBBISH CUZ JAY-Z AINT PUTTIN OUT NO MIXTAPES AND PUTTIN OUT NO NEW ARTIST BUT HIMSELF OR SUM LIL SLUT THATS TRYING TO GET ON.

  • kritiq

    cam is a wahsed up pink faggot who doe’s not want to grow up and 90% of he’s fans a teenagers or dump ass niggas who do not want to grow and still hang around kids who sag they pants to show cleavage,

    who the fuck would like cams music anyway? computer putin and shit lame as niggas

    • CURTIS!

      yo u still stuck on one line? shit cam said in 2004? is this curtis? cuz u takin this cam shit to heart homie

  • god

    you’re boring