Cam’ron’s mixtape résumé is second to none. As Dipset’s leader, the Harlem MC was instrumental in shifting the mixtape landscape when his crew dropped a string of buzzworthy tapes in the early aughts. At the time, rappers typically premiered new songs and freestyles via mixtapes from the likes of DJ Kay Slay and DJ Clue, before the Dips and G-Unit made it mandatory for artists to release full tapes. Now, with the release of Boss of All Bosses 2.8: Road to 3.0—a mixtape to preview a mixtape—Cam once again attempts to set new precedents in the mixtape game.
With Vado and Jaz riding shotgun on most of the tracks, Killa effortlessly weaves his sarcastic wit and stuntastic flair throughout the project into lines that range from foul to comedic. Killa’s knack for brilliant ignorance is on full display on the anthemic, “House of Harlem” as he hilariously berates a bird from start-to-finish like only he can. “Marble German, sofa Sicily/(Where is that Cam, France?)/No, hoe, Italy/I had to damn near vomit, honest/ So I gave her a cab fair and a compass,” he spits on the song. Cam then gets slap-happy on “Warning (Remix)” with Vado and Uncle Murda. “I ain’t playin’, I ain’t playin’, I’ll smack the shit out a hater/Smack the shit out your neighbor/Smack the shit out the mayor/Smack the shit out your pregnant baby mom while she in labor,” he threatens.
Cam has historically treated his tapes as sort of a breeding ground for new artists and BOAB 2.8 is no different. Upstart Jaz more than holds her own from track to track. Though it does feature a few skippers, this installment is more than a collection of songs from Cam’s cutting room floor. It features enough bangers to whet fans’ appetites from BOAB 3.0. The best is yet to come. —Carl Chery