On this day, July 21, in hip-hop history…

Epic Records
Epic Records

1998: 19 years ago, Cam’ron introduced us to his Harlem world with his debut album Confessions Of Fire.

Before Killa became a cult favorite with the Dipset movement, he showcased his potential as a charismatic rapper with Confessions Of Fire. Focusing on his solo career after disbanding from Children Of The Corn—with Murda Mase, Big L and his cousin Bloodshed—Cam found his outlet with a successful debut. The album, which was released under Biggie’s manager Lance “Un” Rivera’s label, had a mild buzz that gradually sold over 500,000 copies. Three singles—“357,” “Horse & Carriage” featuring Ma$e and “Pull It”—were responsible for attracting Cam’ron’s appeal to the mainstream.

Cam was often compared to Mase on Confessions. His flow, melodic hooks and technique of talking over beats were similar to Mason Betha’s identifiable flavor. Even so, Cam brought his own style to the table, blending his uptown gangster with accessible production from the likes of Trackmasters and Swizz Beatz. His rise to fame all started with a pure East Coast album that shined with personality. Looking back at Cam’s first album, it’s easy to see why he’s one of the most captivating rappers out now. For all of us trapped in the 1990s, reminisce today with his classic joints, "Horse & Carriage," "Glory" or "Feels Good."

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