Monday, May 4, 2009
Cam'ron - "Crime Pays" Album Review
"Absence Makes The Heart Grow Fonder"
I've always liked Cam'ron as a rapper [||]. Not that he was ever that dope, just dope enough. What I also liked was that Cam's been able to be consistent in being unpredictable, and also, unfortunately, inconsistent. He hasn't always delivered, and even though he actually led the "dumb down rap" movement a few years back when he bum-rushed his Diplomat crew onto rap fans everywhere, Dip-Set thriving on ignorance, stale flow and the same old same old sounding frenetic beats and operatic chorus like production, their movement was fresh and somewhat invigorating. They even managed to drop a couple of classics during their reign. The '90's babies seemed like they couldn't get enough of them. Now in 2009, times have changed, Dip-Set broke up, Cam's former weed carrier and capo Jim Jones stepped up to wrest leadership of the remaining crew and Cam was exiled for a couple of years.
In his absence, all the good shit that I liked about Cam remained fresh in my memory. And when he started making noise about his comeback earlier this year, I was right there, claiming "Killa!", hoping the current underdog would come back and restore order to all this LCD rap flowing out of New York. I got my copy of his latest album "Crime Pays" earlier today and "went in' for the review.
Crime Pays Intro: Slinky Beat, Cam rapping about what his classmates wanted to be in 3rd grade. Standard Cam fare, sounding like circa 2000 - 2006. But in a stale way.
Cookin Up: Sounded better as a leaked track. Same old production. Kinda like a New York Young Jeezy vibe. Cam fires shots at his old crew. Kinda boring though.
Where I Know You From: Actually sounds like an old Jeezy beat. But not in a new way. I'm getting bored.
Fuck Cam #1: Skit about a wino talking shit about Cam. Not funny.
Never Ever: Cool quasi anthemic joint. Cam's old flow, kinda on that "Killa Cam" joint, only lazier.
Curve: A bit more lively of a track. Cam's going in but I'm not really caring at this point. Maybe I should burn something, enhance my senses, 'cause I'm missing the point right about now.
Silky (No Homo): Sounded better as a leaked track. I'm starting to realize that even though he's back, Cam sounds uninspired. Like.really.effin.uninspired.
Get It In Ohio: So new and yet so old.
Who: Funky ass beat with Exorcist horror sounding vocal sound effects. Cam flows but again sounding very uninspired.
Grease Skit: Chick bitching over the phone skit again. Cam threatens that he'll drop a deuce in her car. Yawn.
You Know What's Up (Feat. Co & Sky Lyn): Really bad song about sex. There's TWELVE more tracks for me to suffer through. How ignorant is this, or how delusional was I to think I wanted to suffer through another Cam'ron album? Fuck me!
Spend The Night: Sounded better as a leaked track. Yawn.
Fuck Cam #2. Part two of the first skit. Brilliant. Not.
Woo Hoo (Feat Byrd Lady & 40 Cal): Cam tries to sound excited, maybe because he's sharing the spotlight with 40 Cal and Byrd Lady, but I'm really no longer interested. This album gets worser and worser. There's effin NINE more songs to listen to. Not happy about that at all.
Chalupa: I just gouged out my left eye to distract me from the pain I'm forcing myself to go through.
Cookies N Apple Juice (Feat Skitzo & Byrd Lady): Sounded better as a leaked track. I think I still like this, but I don't care anymore.
(I Hate) My Job: Best song on the album so far. But it's too late because now (I Hate) this album.
Homicide: Please, kill me now. Really.
Fuck Cam #3: Uhm, word.
Got It For Cheap: Got it for free and I'm still mad. Sounded better as a leaked track.
Get It Get It: Decent soulful feel to the production. Sounds kind of like a personal heartfelt joint, I'm just missing what exactly I'm supposed to feel though.
Bottom Of The Pussy: It is what it sounds like.
Fuck Cam #4: He said it, not me.
You know how when they dropped Nas' "Lost Tapes" and it was really really good? "Crime Pays" is like Cam's "Lost Tapes", tracks that were lost and unreleased between his "Purple Haze" and "Killa Season" albums, except that these tracks should have remained lost and unreleased. To his credit, I get the feeling that Cam'ron put a lot of work in this album, but only to make it sound kinda meh. Unlike the production work found on Jim Jones semi-classic "Hustler's P.O.M.E.", the old Cam/ Dip-set sounding production work on "Crime Pays" doesn't work in his favor, we've been there and have heard this way too many times before. Maybe Cameron Giles really went through all the personal shit he claims to have gone through during his absence because he's really coming off sounding very depressed and uninspired. This album is kinda like that old love you broke up with years ago, only to try and make the relationship work out of a sense of nostalgia, but right after that first date, you remember why ya'll broke up and KNOW it ain't gonna work no more.
With "Crime Pays", it's official, The Dip-Set movement is finally dead. Also, this might be the very last Cam'rom album I ever listen to. And I'm a Cam fan.
"Crime Pays" gets 2 Combat Jack salutes out of 5.