Cam’ron is one of my favorite rappers. Not because he’s great at rapping, but because he has some of the greatest stories ever. If you listen to Cam’ron and expect to hear super lyrical spiritual rhymes, he probably isn’t the artist for you. If you want to hear a great story, Cam is perfect to listen to. Killa is known for rhymes you got no choice but to try to visualize. Some of his raps are even surreal. Cam’ron at times isn’t even a rapper to me. He’s a character, in a complete lane of his own. He often loves rapping about moving bricks, but he’s best for quotes.
The rap game has changed, but has Cam’ron? Nope! Killa still makes music that you would have had no problem listening to in the early 2000s. His sound hasn’t changed and that isn’t a bad thing. For some artists it would be a bad thing, but Cam’ron is one of the rare exceptions. Personal favorite tracks from Cam appeared during the “Come Home With Me” and “Diplomatic Immunity” eras. During that time Dipset was everything and everywhere. They were the movement to move with.
Over the years we watched The Dips disband and come back together, and disband and come back together. They promised reunion albums, but all we got was reunion concerts. One day I’d still like to hear a Dipset reunion album, but now it’s unlikely we’ll ever get it. It’s good to know they’re all on good terms though. Throughout the break up and reunions, the man who made us a fan of Dipset, Cam’ron, never abandoned us. Killa always laces us with new music. Some good and some of it I’d like to pretend never existed. He’s given us an album and a few mixtapes filled with Vado collaborations as The UN, but I’m probably not the only one who is happy that duo was short-lived.
Cam’ron dropped his long-awaited mixtape Ghetto Heaven Vol. 1 yesterday and it has yet to leave my iTunes. The project features 18 songs with features from the likes of T.I., Yo Gotti, and 2 Chainz to frequent collaborators such as Sen City. A 14-year-old rapper named Chris Miles even appears on the project and the kid surprised the hell out of me.
Ghetto Heaven opens with an epic skit of Cam’ron ignoring every call possible, until he gets a call from Halle Berry‘s assistant. He suddenly decides to no longer ignore calls and dials up the assistant who turns out to really be Shy Boogs, reminding Killa that he better drop his mixtape on time. It’s a perfect intro for a Killa Cam mixtape and in a way pokes fun at him delivering this project late.
The intro leads right into the first track entitled “Me Killa” featuring Shy Boogz and SKITZO production. The track was teased by Killa on Instagram when he originally announced the project and it’s as good as it originally sounded. It’s rather short, but it’s a good opener and has a few quotable bars. Cam even jokes about only being with his girl Ju Ju (you seen her on his popular Instagram page) because her mother is his plug.
“Dat All” is one of Cam’ron‘s signature Sen City featured Harlem representing drug related tracks. It’s not a stand out and the YH Zombies production isn’t anything to brag about, but lines from Cam such as “I just picked up 30 m’s from Netflix,” will have you wondering. This is one of those cases where you got no choice but to picture Cam’ron‘s words. You gotta visualize Killa picking up $30 Million dollars from Netflix when he says it. I like to picture him pulling up to the Netflix offices in an all pink Ford Econoline ready to fill that shit to the brim with barrels of cash Walter White style. But in reality I doubt Cam got “30 ms” for films like Percentage. When Cam raps, anything is possible.
The next track produced by J Money entitled “Told You Wrong” is completely skippable. You’ll listen once. But that’s it. The production is sub par. Cam isn’t talking about too much on this one either. He got money, but we already know this. He just told us he got $30 million from Netflix.
Getting straight to the point, “Talk To Me” produced by ADM is no good either for the same reasons.
“Go Outside” is a standout on Ghetto Heaven. The J Money produced track is better than his earlier beat on the project and samples “Go Outside” by Cults. The soulful cut has Killa rapping about struggles many go through every day. Many will relate to this one.
Tiff Da Gift and DanieL argue over Instagram likes on the skit leading up to Killa‘s smooth Catfish awareness track “Instagram” featuring Sen City. The skit is annoying, but it’s the perfect lead-in to the next track.
On “Instagram” Cam’ron and Sen City protect us from women who hide behind Instagram filters and or pretend being somebody else Catfish-style. This is a very real situation the two are spreading awareness about. A much appreciated track. It’s light but fitting for the topic. Nothing worse than women who Photoshop pictures and on top of that add Instagram filters to the pictures. The track is comedic but many will understand the realness of this one.
“Snapped” features 2 Chainz and production by Lizzy. The track is short and could be a teaser of whats to come from Killa. Cam recalls a relationship that went sour over another soulful beat. There is a reason this track ends early and it’s not because 2 Chainz verse was sounding like it’s written by Cousin Bang. The Codeine Cowboy no longer exists.
Killa Cam moves a few more pies on “Think You Need Love” produced by SKITZO. This is another one of those classic soulful feeling tracks. It’s more about moving weight than needing love. It’s short and Killa talks his shit on it. The Dionne Warwick sample is doper than what he is actually spitting about however.
The pace picks up on “You Know This” produced by AraabMuzik. The beat is dope…and you know this. Plenty of classic quotable lines from Killa on this track, including “treat my dick like some dice and shake the shit with your hot hand,” and “boo won’t get a chicken dinner/unless she kiss my wood, you won’t get a splinter” is another favorite. You don’t want to visualize these bars though. No homo.
Killa Cam does his thing on the Meek Mill sampling ADM-produced “Murder Game.” This sounds like it’s lifted straight from Cam‘s Killa Season sessions. That’s a compliment.
“Think About It” is a chorus-less track from Killa over a soulful sample. Cam wants you to reflect on what he’s saying on this one. It’s short, but sweet.
Cam’ron provides the backdrop on “My Life” featuring Sen City. The smooth track based around the hustling lifestyle up until you hear police sirens isn’t a bad offering from Killa and Sen City. Mary J. Blige would approve.
“Let Me Work” produced by ADM is the best track on Cam‘s Ghetto Heaven. It features Harlem’s own queen of the ring Mz Hustle, Loaded Lux, and 14-year-old Chris Miles. Everybody delivers on this one but the standout verse is from the 14-year-old kid. This is my first time hearing the name Chris Miles. Something tells me it’s not my last. The kid got talent.
Cam has never been shy to speak on his personal relationships with his friends he grew up around. Cam’ron raps about his Harlem comrades so much, you got no choice but to feel like you know each of them on a first name basis. On the laid-back Kinsmuv produced “Golden Friends,” Killa sends a big thank you to his homies. A solid offering from Cameron Giles.
Cam’ron is so dope he can get away with rhyming over Lion King samples. On the Lizzy produced “Jungle,” T.I. and Yo Gotti join in on the fun. At one point T.I.P. even gets his “a-wing-a-wut” on. This is entertainment at it’s finest. Cam at one point says “got a picture of the world trade center in my Porsche, 911.” Classic Cam.
“I nutted on her face, that’s just a baby shower.” Cam’ron gets as ignorant as he can get on “Welcome To My World” produced by YH Zombies. This is the Killa we know and love.
On the last track of Ghetto Heaven, a remix of Jodeci‘s “Come And Talk To Me” Cam’ron responds to Jay-Z‘s verse on Drake‘s “Pound Cake.” Cam says he and Jay made each other millions before changing the subject. Plenty of stunting on this one. Favorite line: “I usually don’t carpool, It’s pools in the car.” This is a good track to close out the mixtape.
Pros: Quote-friendly bars, Variety, No Vado features, Solid production
Cons: Too many soulful laid-back tracks, Only one AraabMuzik beat, No Dipset features, Ugliest cover of all time
Timeless Tracks: Let Me Work, Jungle, Go Outside, Welcome To My World, You Know This