Cam'ron's Crime Pays Is Here and It's Not Bad

by Mike Deane

13 May 2009


When Cam’ron released “I Hate My Job” a number of months ago, I was very impressed, but as single after single from his latest album, Crime Pays, leaked (of course they weren’t real leaks), I held less and less hope for the the album. And then, yesterday, it came out, and it was about as strong as I could have hoped for, but with some real stand outs.

There was a lot of build-up for this album, but as it turns out, Cam’ron was just hyping the album with weird lies. It’s like when he claimed that “Killa Season” the movie was going to be a musical, it was most certainly not (I think there was one performed song in the movie). Cam’ron came out with some big talk - that none of the songs that had leaked (“Bottom of the Pussy Hole”, “I Hate My Job”) would be on the album (they are); that there would be no guest spots (there are); that he was going to release a video every week until the album came out (he didn’t). And so, what we get is another sort of good Cam’ron album.

It’s certainly better than Killa Season, as he’s gone away from the darker beats and has returned to some of his old playfulness, but it’s not what it could’ve been. I write this, but for me, Cam’ron is still the most exciting character/lyricist (I am not a lyrics purist or aficionado) in hip hop, but like a number of fans, I want Cam to return to his Purple Haze days.
The album comes in at (what’s been described as) a modest 23 songs, of which there are five skits; so we’re dealing with 18 full-length songs. I really think that if Cam’ron could show some sort of discretion with his albums, he could create a classic album, but then it wouldn’t be Cam’ron if there weren’t the giant missteps and general what-the-fuckness going on with his albums.

I don’t enjoy any of the skits on the album, but in the realm of Killa Cam, I think it makes sense. It’s hard to put this into words, but Cam’ron is not about the songs or even the albums, he’s about colossal misinterpretation, weird self-centredness and inflated self opinion, wild word play, and the kind of offensive lines that make you disbelieve that he’s a real person.

You’d have to listen to the album yourself to know what I’m talking about (possibly some song play-by-play later this week, I hope I’m not alone in wanting to break down Cam’s lyrics into minute detail). If you are a casual Killa fan, you’ll want to stay away from the skits and skip to the strongest songs: “Never Ever”, “Silky”, “Get It In Ohio”, “Who”, “Whoo Hoo”, “My Job” and “Got It For Cheap” (yes, that’s also the name of a Clipse song, and yes, Cam’ron will be on the new Clipse song); the stronger songs : “Cookin It Up” and “Get It Get It”. The head scratchers are: “Spend The Night” (Cam’ron sings), “Bottom Of The Pussy”, “Cookies ‘n Some Apply Juice” and the rest are middling to bad.

You read it right, I think that six really good songs, two pretty good songs, three head scratchers, and a bunch of skippable tracks and regrettable skits makes for a strong rap album in 2009. Later this week, verse-by-verse breakdowns from the most confusing and outstanding of the Crime Pays tracks. Let’s leave off with one of the newer Cam’ron videos (most likely NSFW)

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