K Camp Lacks Direction On ‘SlumLords’ Mixtape
This isn’t K Camp’s first time on the verge of blowing up. Back in 2009, the Atlanta MC scored a local smash with the Roscoe Dash-leaning “All Night,” after performing at open mics with Waka Flocka Flame and Travis Porter. The latter two ascended to national prominence with “Oh Let’s Do It” and “All The Way Turnt Up,” respectively, but Camp never made the jump. Three years later, he sung the infectious hook of Mykko Montana’s single “Do It,” but was barely seen in the subsequent music video. Opportunity in an over-saturated market rarely strikes three times, but K Camp is active again with the virality of “Money Baby” and “Cut Her Off.”
SlumLords figures to be something between a victory lap and a frantic chance to solidify a reputation. But most of what’s offered on Camp’s two singles in radio rotation is recycled and repurposed throughout the mixtape, and much of the 17 tracks on SlumLords blend as club rap platitude and garish misogyny. K Camp says that “there’s levels to this Slum shit” on the project’s intro, but after winding Auto-Tune chants of “Yo hoe will get slayed” are repeated throughout the chorus, the skepticism is warranted.
The first five songs of SlumLords adopt the “Cut Her Off” mantra without even the slightest semblance of subtlety, ranging from the minutiae (“Don’t be asking ‘bout no Instagram pictures, I’m liking whatever I like” on “However I Like”) to the cliché (“Yo nigga he so old, come get something new/Ménage à trois with your friend, that’s something new/Coke and Hennessy, yeah that’s something too/You say your friend’s got a friend, yeah well bring ‘em through” on “Sum Bitch”). Camp’s claims about women lack the charisma of guests Lil Boosie and YG, and the production’s skittering 808s and blooping synths don’t do much to buoy them.
The better songs on SlumLords come when K Camp ditches the excessive Auto-Tune and switches up subject matter. Sy Ari Da Kid provides coarse multisyllabic rhymes in his five guest spots, and on the languid downtempo of “Long Live The Kings 2,” both Sy and Camp deliver inspired verses. “Leechin” is another standout, powered by the paranoid wails of JokerTooCold, but it’s immediately followed by “Don’t Blame Me,” which spends its first full minute repeating “Don’t blame me, just blame yo bitch” before Camp says, “I blame the toilet for this shit.”
Sonically, there’s not much variance on SlumLords. But the project is mainly limited by its immaturity. Camp’s Auto-Tune slurs offer Hyper-sexualiziation that is too corny to be likable — “Runnin’ ‘round with balls, woulda thought this was lacrosse,” he says on the remix of “Cut Her Off.” The motif of him trading in his current bitch for a new one because she had the wrong attitude or opened her mouth is hard to escape on SlumLords, and it’s deployed with the apathy found recently in drill rap but without drill’s energy. The detachedness seems to even rub off on Wale, who delivers a lazy verse on “Off The Floor.”
The most bizarre moment on SlumLords doesn’t belong to K Camp, though. On “Shoot Up The Club,” Joker and Damar Jackson are miles from Three 6 Mafia’s Memphis as they croon lines about stuntin’ over a woozy backdrop. “Say she don’t go to the club, that’s cool/Wanna be a teacher, I’ma shoot up the school/Columbine, bang bang/Comin’ in my trench coat/I hope you know how to deep throat,” the second verse starts.
K Camp lives out his most recognizable hook to date on SlumLords He likes smoking weed, he likes getting fly, and he likes having sex. Hopefully, Camp finds even a slightly more creative way to tell you about it on the next mixtape.—Steven Goldstein