Interview: Cam’ron Explains ‘Pound Cake’ Reply, Slams DOPE Apparel Collaboration and Confirms ‘Percentages 2’
by Niki McGloster
It’s easy to recognize Cam’ron’s unmatched grip on the streets while scarfing down “Cam Corn” at Tribeca Cinemas awaiting the first episode of his new hood series, 1st Of The Month. After a virtual hiatus–aside from his infamous Vine clips with wifey JuJu, Vado-assisted Boss Of All Bosses mixtape installments and his trek further into film (see: Percentages)–Killa Cam has ignited a fan-feeding frenzy with his mapped-out strategy to attack music, film and fashion at the same damn time, starting with Ghetto Heaven Vol. 1, its coinciding series and pink-accented Nike Elite Dipset socks.
Killa’s comeback is hitting hard, so we caught up with the veteran MC to chop it up about his recent on-wax aim at Jay Z, the ill-configured collaboration with DOPE apparel and why he prefers taking on the roles he writes. –Niki McGloster
How did you come up with the idea to kick off your 1st Of The Month series?
Cam’ron: There’s so many gaps in between urban movies like Paid In Full, Belly, Boyz N Tha Hood, Friday. When The Wire was on, everybody was loving running home to [watch] it, then they went off the air. So instead of shooting a movie and everybody seeing it at one time, [I decided to] spread it out and put it out every month. That way it won’t be such a drought in between projects.
You’re giving the people a lot to look forward to, especially by dropping additional music every month with the series.
So what is it that you love about about acting and being on camera?
All the stuff that I’ve done movie-wise, I wrote it. It’s fun when you already have a jump on what you’re doing before it actually gets done as a finished project. I get offers for movies and other stuff, but I don’t necessarily like the concept of the movie, or I don’t like the character that they offer me. They even offered me Tyrone from Next Friday, the part that Sticky Fingaz played, but I didn’t want to do it. Not dissing Sticky Fingaz, but [being in] the truck with Deebo for however many hours wasn’t for me.
Directing and writing is clearly your favorite part of the whole creative process.
Yeah, I love that part. The hardest part about making movies is getting 10 people who see your vision. I got a really good production team, so it’s coming along well.
With you dropping new music and the episode from the series every month, are you afraid of oversaturating the game?
Nah, because I’m not overdoing it with 20 songs a month. It’ll be just enough to be satisfying. With me being on hiatus so long, this is a good way to come back and still give people content without taking breaks in between.
Does this feel like a type of resurgence for you?
It definitely feels good to see that everybody’s appreciating what I’m doing and everybody’s liking the stuff that I’m doing. Sometimes you start doing other business and you’ll [think] people have moved on to other stuff, but it just feels good to see that they’ll stick around and wait for me to put a project out. That part of it is dope. I wouldn’t say resurgence on my end but definitely from the public perception. I probably got over 2000 songs though.
Wait. You’ve got just 2000 songs sitting around?
Yeah, I bought a house for my mom years ago and she never moved in it, so I turned it into a studio. I stay here from time to time, so I can wake up with an idea and do three to four songs. I don’t have to set a schedule when it comes to going to the studio, so I knock a lot of stuff out like that.
Are those the songs coming out over the next few months?
I’m going to use some of them. But for instance, with Ghetto Heaven Vol. 1, I was done with that a month ago. I had to hand it in Sunday and I did two new songs that’s on there Saturday. I’ll definitely spruce it up [with] more up-to-date stuff because to me some of the stuff gets dated.
“Come And Talk To Me” must’ve been a more recent track since you responded to Drake and Jay Z’s “Pound Cake.” Were you shocked when you heard Jay say your name?
Not really shocked, that’s just mad random. I thought it came from nowhere basically. Just to clarify, I don’t think Jay was necessarily taking shots at me. I just stated the facts of the scenario. He said he made more millionaires than the lotto did, but I knew Jay when he didn’t have a million, when none of us had a million, when Dame and them were on the come-up. I respect what all of us have done because I know where we all come from. But the way he put his lyrics [together] and made it seem like he made niggas money or put them in the place where they was supposed to be… He could’ve worded it like he helped niggas make more millions, instead of saying you made niggas millionaires.
Your response seemed subtle enough, but nothing you two say towards each other will ever fly under the radar.
Yeah. It wasn’t nothing, but you know the streets and the blogs and the radio personalities turned it into whatever they wanted to turn it into. I’m fine with that.
Now, tell me about your recent collaboration with the DOPE apparel.
That’s something that my manager British [Young] had worked out, and I knew nothing about it. To make a long story short, I didn’t know I was as big as I was in the fashion world. When I did these ALIFE shirts, a lot of people hollered at me to do capsule collections with them. This dude calls from DOPE like, ‘Yo, we’re putting out the capsule Cam clothes deal that we made in a couple weeks.’ I never signed off on anything with them. I didn’t cosign on the artwork or the designs. I’m not going to allow them to have had conversations with my manager a year and a half ago about doing something because their company is in trouble, and now they see that I’m doing good in fashion, they think they just gon’ throw this out there. I’m not cosigning that. I’ll put it on Instagram and everything that I’m not doing it.
Ha! That’ll definitely kill the buzz. People are honestly enjoying your recent fashion moves though.
To be honest, this whole clothing thing is new to me. As far as the jerseys and stuff like that, Dame Dash and his baby mother, Rachel Roy, got all these clothes connects, so it just got me more into it. I’m really just playing catch-up, but I do have a lot deals on the table. I’m just weighing my options out.
So what else can fans expect from you?
I’m going to be doing the 1st Of The Month thing till the end of the year to make sure the top of the year is good, then at the end of January, we’re going to start shooting Percentage 2.
That’s dope. Congratulations on that! I think people are sleeping on the first one, but I did just check it out on Netflix.
Yeah, it’s Shakim [Compere] and Queen Latifah’s deal from Flavor Unit Entertainment. Sha kept it real with like, ‘Yo Cam, shoot the movies and we’ll bust the money down,’ so he gave me 3 or 4 movies to shoot for the Netflix situation. But I can’t wait to do Percentages 2. I have fun working with them guys. Shakim and Queen Latifah got 40 movies under they belt, so I’m just working with them and soaking in everything like a sponge. Getting new knowledge is always fun to me.
Okay, last question, because you know I love JuJu–when is the wedding?
[Laughs] Ah man. I don’t know. Not saying we won’t get married one day, but why mess up what’s good right now with something else? We got the best relationship in the world. We have fun, we go out, we can look at phat asses together. We don’t need a piece of paper to say that’s who we are. She press me about it but she gets it. We’re enjoying life.