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Beats Per Millennium - Cam'ron: Crime Pays

Cam'ron: Crime Pays

When describing Cam’ron to friends, I usually call him a ‘crazy asshole.’ This is a guy who doesn’t really care about the liberal democrat vote. You have to be really enlightened to appreciate what this guy does, because it’s really easy to dismiss him without paying much attention without really engaging his talent because he’s a crazy asshole. He probably also doesn’t care that I think he’s a crazy asshole. And you know, there’s nothing wrong with being a crazy asshole, if you do it right. Usually, if you’re understandably casting sympathy to the wind, being the good kind of crazy asshole requires being funny or charismatic. You need something, anything to endear yourself to the listener. If George W. Bush tried to make light of the Iraq war by posing for a series of photos in his office looking for WMDs under furniture and shit it would be neither. But a rapper has the luxury of being a cartoon character.

Unfortunately, that’s the only luxury that Cam’ron doesn’t indulge in enough this album. Don’t get me wrong, Cam’ron can be likable. “Suck it or Not” makes me LOL every time. But, well, first track. Cam’ron sets his sights on children who want both money and jobs that children want, such as police officer (bad words!). Cam’ron, dude, kids are stupid. They say stupid things. His idea of a funny joke one track later is “I’m the Black Gallagher – I smash melons.” Unfortunately that was also Dave Chapelle’s idea of a funnier joke five years ago.

When he’s not being groan-worthy, he’s being lazy. “If you know like I know, you should lie low, Killa, I used to get it in Ohio, don’t forget the Chi though, guns are like a pyro, you keep playin’ you will look like a gyro.”

Is this what you mean Cam? That is a weird simile and you pronounce it wrong. I don’t know what exactly you mean.

Or “Cookies and Apple Juice,” which is based on “Milk, milk, lemonade, ‘round the corner fudge is made.” Which was funnier when Family Guy did it, and Family Guy wasn’t particularly funny when they did it.

And then there’s the whole no homo thing.

Camron comes off as a very petty, bitter-sounding man on Crime Pays. Someone called him a mean name, and he’s just pissed as hell. He’s overcompensating something awful. The skits are key to the character of the album. On “Grease,” a recorded phone conversation, he starts by threatening to shit in a woman’s car (the albums second biggest LOL) before they start fighting. He reduces her to sobbing and hollering that she hates him to the point that it’s uncomfortable to listen to. Cam’ron eventually becomes… indifferent? I guess. He tells her he doesn’t hate her and just keeps asking her when she wants him to call her tomorrow. The woman ends the call by telling Cam “I hope money really makes you happy in your life, I hope so. I hope money really make you happy, it make you have all the happiness you think you can buy.” Cam responds: “It does.” Cold indifference, materialism, I don’t have a problem with that. But there’s a clever way to do it, and a foul way to do it, and I much prefer how he does it on one of my favorite tracks from the album, “Spend the Night” – “Called her a stupid bitch, sorry – nah, I might’ve meant it.” Being an asshole is one thing, being a douchebag is quite another.

The series of “Fuck Cam” skits are no better, as they mostly exist to provide a character less likable than Cam on this record – the pissed off broke haters who are envious and resentful of Cam’ron, who bitch about how rich he is, or making fun of his fondness of wearing pink. It almost seems like a half-hearted attempt to prove that people still hate him, that he has a reason to be this bitter.

This is made all the more infuriating by some of the album’s high points – like “My Job,” which is probably the best single I’ve heard all year so far. “Bottom of the Pussy” is a mildly amusing ballad about – what else, finding the bottom of the pussy. Or the opening line of “Homicide” – “Nigga say my car is the same color as fluoride. What the fuck color is fluoride, nigga?” I don’t know either, Cam. Probably the color of your car.

The sense I got from this album is that it had all been done before, but My Job is a really great song. So don’t buy the album, but download the song “My Job.” Oh, what the fuck does Cam’ron care, anyhow? He’s rich, remember?

Posted by Joe Kaiser at May 18, 2009 01:41 PM



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