Who else besides Cameron Giles would have not only the boldness and audacity to not only rap over a sample from Vanessa Carlton’s ‘10,000 Miles,’ but also the skill and imagination to actually make it sound incredible? This just came out last night but I think I’ve already played it about 100 times after my boy BG thankfully alerted me about it; it’s just that infectious.
Cam takes on a different perspective here, narrating what is basically a story of a breakup and regretting not appreciating what you had until it’s too late, wishing things could have been different. It’s interesting perspective to hear because while Cam’ron has lived such a colorful lifestyle, this is a theme that pretty much every single person out there can relate to and has experienced to some extent. You can really feel what Cam is saying in the beginning, often the people that have loved us the most become the ones that can’t even stand to look at us after we wrong them. Unfortunately we all know what he means when he says he knows he was wrong but has too much pride to apologize. You get that classic Cam flow right after that, ‘iPhones and cameras, nights in Atlanta, tried to bring her gifts she said you ain’t Santa’ before he reflects that it’s ‘Hard to believe I messed trust up.’ That is a terrible feeling when you try to fix things by buying gifts etc. but the ship has already sailed and no effort on your part can fix things and you finally realize it’s too late. Since Cam is in his early 40s now, it’s cool to hear him rapping about a more ‘everyday’ type theme like this with a wise perspective .
Cam’ron absolutely slays this beat by casually rattling off quick and deft punch line after punch line in a way that works perfectly “Day to day life dealing with reality/lawyer got me off on a technicality/all I think about, we was Mickey and Mallory/nothing left but increase my salary/now money is the focus/hustling president POTUS/anything else right now is bogus/real estate opened up I gave notice/murder was the case Calvin Broadus/blue magic though hocus pocus/they forgot that my dope’s the dopest’.” “Made a mil in one week yeah it’s poppin’/retail therapy I’m shopping/pulled off the lot, top dropping/no legs on the car but it’s bopping/speakers in the door so it’s knocking/I got all the keys so I’m locked in/felt above the law, Johnny Cochrane/and I’m off the rebound, Rodman.’ The way Cam just adeptly layers on reference after reference and paints such a picture with literally every single line/word is approaching a level of skill and mastery that you rarely ever hear. You could almost take any verse from this song (or almost any other Cam songs) and teach a class or write a textbook with it, from the pop culture references to how to set a scene and tell a story.
In retrospect it’s perhaps no surprise that Cam made the ‘Killa Season’ movie about 10 years ago, because so many of his songs have a similar cinematic, story-book like quality to them with so much imagery layered in. I don’t know the details but apparently there is some sort of new movie in the works and according to Pitchfork‘s article on the song, a new mixtape this summer called The Program, which we can only hope comes into fruition.
How sick is the imagery for the artwork for this single? Just Cam posting up in a pink hoodie, in some sort of lounge type room with off-pink (or should I say millenial pink?) walls and off-pink chairs and then of course the iconic hot pink camo box for his iconic pink Reebok sneakers. The cover is just so iconic and typical Cam. I really feel like we’re reaching an inflection point where Cam is starting to transcend into living legend status and fans are starting to appreciate him as one of the true Greatest Of All Times.
P.S. As one quick side note, I wanted to give a shout out to a newer rapper that I’ve been getting into from LA by way of Memphis, Xavier Wulf, who has a really unique/different style and vibe and a couple of great songs, he also did a remix of this song about a year or so ago, using a kind of distorted version of this sample called ‘Help Yo Self’ which is actually pretty drastically different than a lot of his other material which has more of a heavier/darker even atmospheric vibe, check it out here below and check out the rest of his songs too on Soundcloud
Update*: The video for this song actually is out, after being previewed on Cam’s Instagram last night. And it’s just as epic and cinematic as you’d expect.
My favorite part is the interlude in the middle where after the breakup Cam is playing a Howard Hughes type recluse, just moping around in the house smoking a certain brand of cigarette because it’s what his ex smoked and wearing her blanket, as his hilarious friend who seems a mix of concerned and also very bemused/slightly disgusted harangues him to snap out of it, shower, and go out and make some money, before he gives up and heads out. ‘Nice. I’ll see you later. You have a good night man. You look terrbile. Feel better man. Take a shower.” I also love when towards the end Cam and the aforementioned friend go out, make some money from what one can assume is some sort of illicit hustle, go out and hit the town, buy a new car, and hang out the window of it feeling above the law and on top of the world. While not many of us can buy a new fully loaded luxury whip to feel better, we can all relate to that temporary excitement and feeling of invincibility Cam feels, before eventually crashing back down to earth later that night when he’s home alone. (I have to say, the decor that Cam has at his California villa as he counts the money with his boy is very tasteful and ‘old money’ with the bronze sailboat on the wall, and the antique book shelf and grandfather clock. It’s not what I would have expected Cam to go with but it looks perfect. Between the pink room from the song artwork and the old money, coastal California vibe from his house in the video, I wish I could hire him to set up and decorate my house when I get one). I won’t spoil the ending here but the whole thing is amazing. A lot of rappers talk about how their new song or mixtape is going to be a ‘movie’ but Cam def fulfills that promise here. I can’t really say much else here besides that I have to salute the rising G.O.A.T. and can’t wait to see what else he has up his sleeve that he springs on us next.
P.S. – For my previous article on Killa Cam, sort of a nostalgic throwback post reminiscing about his freestyle over ‘On My Block’ on Rap City back in the day, which is where I got the idea for this site and the name etc., check out my first ever article here