Cam’ron – Lean
I don’t know if we even deserved Cam’ron lacing us with a new album, but I can’t think of anything America needs more right now. I wasn’t expecting this at all so I’m hyped.
Rather than an ode to the purple, slumber-inducing concoction, ‘Lean’ is literally a rap song over a beat sampling the 1972 classic ‘Lean on Me’ by Bill Withers. I guess this should come as no surprise since Cam’ron has mastered this type of song and rapping over these types of samples more than any other artist, whether it was Journey’s ‘Don’t Stop Believing’, ‘Oh What a Night‘ by the Four Seasons talking about the night he got shot in D.C. and drove himself to the hospital, or improbably rapping about IBS over the all-too-short ‘Any Way You Want It’, or one of my all time favorite Cam efforts, his take on Rose Royce’s ‘I Wanna Get Next to You’
Killa is rattling off lines like he’s in the midst of a lengthy, multi-decade prime here…
“I grew up with Big L, all I knew was ebonics; jealousy, crack, greed, homicide and chronic, where niggas catch a body change their name like the Sonics. It was hot like Phoenix, I used to look up at the Lenox Ave sign, on my heart, and pledge allegiance.”
“I share my wealth, humble beginnings, hunger strangled us, Pops had a choice, me or drugs, he chose angel dust.”
I’ve only listened to ‘The Program’ a couple of times so far but it certainly does not disappoint. A few early favorites aside from ‘Lean’ include Coleslaw, It’s Killa (the album opener, which brings back memories of the ‘Killa Cam’ intro from Killa Season), Chop it Up, and ‘Dime after Dime’ which features a welcome return from Sen City, which would also fit in with the examples above, as Cam’ron raps about serving fiends over Cindy Lauper’s prom classic ‘Time After Time’. Because of course Cam’ron would do that.
With this new album and a new song with both Cam and Jim Jones called ‘Once Upon a Time’ coming out a couple of days ago, hopefully this is just the beginning of a lot of new material from Dipset.
*Update: Didn’t realize there’s also already a video for Lean, see below. Dope video for this type of a song and I’m feeling Cam’s New York Lotto hat.