Cam’ron, “Here I Am” (Originally Published April 2009)

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So where have you been?
I’ve been chillin’. My mom had had three back-to-back strokes. She’s doing much better. She’s still, like, 50 percent paralyzed on her left side of her body, little speech impediment. But she’s healthy, she’s alive, she’s walking, driving. But she had three strokes, so I took her to Florida, to a specialist. Then to a rehabilitation center for nine months so she could start walking and get her speech back and everything.

So that’s a huge piece that explains your being M.I.A. for so long, right?
What happened was, family always comes first. But then I started hearing that “Cam’ron is missing.”
“Cam’ron is hiding.” And it’s like, Who am I hiding from? Missing? Like, What?! I just started using it to my advantage. But it wasn’t like I was “hiding” or “missing.” If you was in Florida, you probably seen me.

What happened with the “Hot Summer” video?
That confused a lot of people. You said, “It’s gonna be a hot summer,” by the swimming pool and all that, and then it was never a hot summer. We didn’t hear anything more. That’s when my mother got sick, actually. June 2007. So what happened was, that pool that you seen me in, that was the house that I had got for my mother for that whole year. When I did that video, I had just got to Florida, maybe about two weeks [before]. I had shot that little video. You know me, I didn’t sit there and let people be… I’m one of those people, if you say something about me, I get on you like yesterday. But you gotta realize, my mother don’t have any other family but me. So when I go down to Florida, it isn’t like I can go to the studio. It isn’t like I can leave her in the crib for 10 hours, 12 hours. So my moms was sick. I was with her for nine months straight, 24 hours a day, unless I may have went out to get something to eat for an hour or two.

That was around the time—it seemed like you sorta went underground after the incident with 50. When you got on the phone with 50 on Hot 97.
Yeah, you could say that.

What was the purpose of that? To defend Koch or to defend Jim Jones and the Diplomats?
I mean, at the end of the day, I was kind of defending, in my opinion, Jim and Diplomats. Because he was basically saying that he could shut down any project on Koch at the particular time. And it was, like, nobody major—I’m not sure if Khaled was even up there. No disrespect to Khaled, no disrespect to Styles or nobody like that—but nobody was checking for Koch before we went over there. So I kinda think it was taking a shot at Jim or the Diplomats. Either way, that was family, and that was the label. So that’s how I kinda took offense to it.

Did you expect the beef to unfold the way that it did?
I don’t expect nothing. I go with the momentum. I don’t sit there waiting to expect what’s going to happen. If somebody says something, I react. If I do something and wait for them to react, I’m going to react again. I don’t really sit there and expect or analyze what’s gonna happen. But I’m prepared for anything.

What’s the status of the situation now? If you and 50 walked into the same room, is there beef, or is it done?
50 can kiss my ass. That’s the basic moral of the story. I’m not one of them people, once we beefin’, I’ma be like, “Yo, I wish it didn’t happen.” It is what it is.

After the Hot 97 call, Dipset didn’t jump to your defense. Then Jim actually started making public appearances with 50. This seemed to expose a rift between you two.
What people gotta realize is that, like, Jim’d been doing his own thing. It may seem… We may come to one person video or the other person video, but we’d kinda been not hanging out anyway. But whatever is going on behind the scenes don’t always have to be public. So if somebody was trying to diss him in public, I took offense to that, because that was my brother. But, yeah, we’d kinda been shied away from each other behind the scenes anyway.

How come?
Well, I don’t know his reason, or what he thinks, but one time Jim was in my house, and we was plotting and strategizing on our marketing and promotions. And out of the blue he asks me, “You wanna have a fake beef? Between me and you.” And I was like, “Hell no!” That didn’t even make sense. I was like, “Why would we do that? That would confuse the fans.” And he was like, “Oh okay.” But for me, I took that as, you must wanna go your own route anyway, because why would you even make that suggestion? So when he made that suggestion, it wasn’t like beef or no problems, but I kinda shied away and started letting him do his own thing. Because I felt, why would you even say that if you didn’t wanna go and do your own thing?

What did you think of the Diplomats story we did last month?
I didn’t get a chance to read it yet.

The basic premise behind it is that the three guys miss you, they say you’re doing your own thing, but, at least to some degree, they feel fucked over by you. Is that fair, or do you disagree with that?
I would say I disagree. Because, at the end of the day, I’m not focused—I don’t understand how people are still focused on this stuff. This been like two, three years you haven’t really seen us together. Or haven’t heard us on the same record. So I’m kinda, like, past how people are feeling or what’s going on.

People were so used to the core four of you together through the years, the movement. Not seeing you together just doesn’t seem right. Is that understandable to you?
It’s like, if you’re a Williams, you a Williams. That’s like Diplomats—once you a Diplomat, you a Diplomat. All four of us are Diplomats. But, at the end of the day, James and Florida had to break up. You know what I’m saying? Everything don’t last forever.

James and Florida?
Good Times! I just was watching Good Times. At the end of the day, nothing lasts forever. So I understand what the fans are saying. And it’s kinda messed up. But what you gotta realize is that things can always be fixed behind the scenes. But once a problem gets public, it’s kind of unfixable.