Pin It

Cam'Ron 

If the antithesis of conscious rap is unconscious rap, then Harlem MC/fashion magnet/grisly ghetto poet Cam'Ron proves himself the epitome of the somatic superstars on his recently released Purple Haze. It's a CD that takes the gangsta mind-set to its hyper-masculine, logical conclusion, which is not a pretty affair if you happen to be a female. However, the album is so perfectly infectious that it's near impossible to turn away.

Cam's slow-and-salty rhymes lull the listener in with their Dr. Seuss-gone-gully simplicity. That is before he slaps the nightcap off with sheer and unrelenting brutality. Cocaine-cartel anthems such as "Leave Me Alone, Pt. 2" invert the genre's cliches in a cubist blender of nearly nonsensical pronouncements and endless repetition. It reaches its epoch -- or its nadir -- on the stoopid-stellar "Killa Cam," where he rhymes, "Yellow diamonds on my ear, call 'em lemonhead/Lemonhead, end up dead, iced like Winnipeg/Gemstones, 'Flintstones,' you can say I'm friends with Fred."

Cam's penchant for wordplay and his preference for quirky, old-skool samples (he pilfers Marvin Gaye, the Ohio Players and Cyndi Lauper's '80s classic "Girls Just Want to Have Fun"), makes him resemble that other ghetto surrealist, Ghostface Killah. But where Ghost occasionally steps out of his violent, Dadaist free fall to betray a softer, more philosophical side, Cam is unrelenting and unapologetic. Songs like "More Gangsta Music" and "Dope Man" are slow-motion money shots of bloody, ghetto glamour. Of course, one never sees the tragic aftermath of his violence and misogyny, the ravaged bodies of the drug trade or the haggard daughters of abuse. But for those of us who are not literal-minded -- and it's hard to be that way when listening to Cam -- the end result is wildly entertaining and damn near classic.

  • Pin It

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Latest in Album Reviews

More by Sam Chennault

12/18/2014

Search Events

Recent Comments

© 2014 Creative Loafing Atlanta
Powered by Foundation