Five Cam’Ron Songs You Need In Your Playlist
Cam’ron was responsible for hit after hit in the early 2000s. Listening to Pandora one day, I heard one of his more popular songs “Hey Ma.” I already knew it and was aware of how catchy the song was. But then more of his songs, those less popular, started playing and I realized how slept on he is. I am going to present some of my favorite songs of his and why y’all should listen to them. If it’s a song you heard before, it actually may be better than you thought it was when you heard it previously. If it’s not a song you know, well then you’re welcome.
“Oh Boy” (feat. Juelz Santana)
Just Blaze did a nice job on the beat and the “I’m Going Down” by Rose Royce sample adds a nice touch to the whole song. I give Cam’ron the award for using the word “boy” the most times in a song and in the catchiest ways possible. Really, his play on words and metaphors throughout the whole song make it a classic. In the third verse when Cam says “When he got caught with the (boy) we went to court for the (boy);” “caught” and “court” just flow nicely. The song is filled with many more lines like this. If you were fly in 2002, this was the song you had to blast at parties, in your car- everywhere. If none of what I’ve said convinces you that this song is fire then consider this: it ranked 89th on VH1’s 100 Greatest Songs of Hip Hop. If you know how many hip hop songs there are then this puts in perspective why it’s my first suggestion. I listened to this song about 10 times just to write this article and I regret nothing.
“Down and Out” (feat. Kanye West and Syleena Johnson)
Kanye’s beats of the early 2000s brought some of the most soulful samples together and this was no exception. In the beginning of the song Cam’ron calls it the “1970s Heron flow”: a reference to soul musician Gil Scott-Heron, and to all the soul music from the 1970s. Syleena Johnson’s parts also add soul that takes this song from just a regular rap song to something I think we can all vibe with. I love Cam’ron’s flow in many of his songs but I think it’s at its best when paired with this beat. Even if you’re not an English major, you can appreciate how poetic he is and the alliteration he uses in the line “Drinking sake on a Suzuki we in Osaka Bay.” All the ‘s’ sounds in this line and how each word is related to Japan starts the song off in the best way possible. This is one of the most complete rap songs I ever heard and you would be playing yourself if you didn’t listen to it. Don’t play yourself!
“What Means the World to You” (feat. Keema)
One of the most hood rap songs I remember from my childhood; I basically remember it because it’s straight fire. Also the song samples The Police’s “Roxanne,” a rock music classic. I have an appreciation for classic rock so the guitar sample is an unexpected pleasant surprise. We all have different things that mean the world to us. Although they may not be what Cam’ron and Keema talk about in the song, I still love it. The stories that Cam’ron, and Keema, each lay out in this song are somewhat explicit but it’s not meant to be a deep song; just something you can blast to reminisce about old memories. If you’re into modern rap, then you will most likely love this song because the beat is great and the lyrics don’t have too much substance to them, but the song is still fire.
“Hey Ma” (feat. Juelz Santana)
One of Cam’ron’s most well known songs. Again, if you were out and about in 2002 and hip to things, then you knew and loved this song. I recommend it 14 years later because it is still relevant. Ladies, I know we all hate when guys hit on us by saying “hey ma” (New York girls, I feel your pain), but this song can be enjoyed by all. When that little keyboard sound comes on in the beginning you should know it’s going down. The hook is formatted like a conversation between a guy and girl who have similar interests:
[You smoke? (I smoke)
I drink (me too)
Well good – cause we gon’ get high tonight]
[Got drops (got coupes) got trucks (got jeeps)
All right – cause we gon’ take a ride tonight]
So ma (wassup) Let’s slide (all right)
All right – and we gon’ get it on tonight
You meet a nice guy/girl y’all talk and vibe with each other and the rest is history.
I would be remiss to not include this one, also produced by Mr. West himself. For those of you who may not know, Cam’ron was one of the founders of The Diplomats a.k.a Dipset. This song pays homage to Dipset and what they have done musically, as well as their other activities (let’s say being businessmen) together. I am a sucker for a good soulful sample and Kanye definitely delivers with how he uses “Forever” by Chuck Cissel to add a level of emotion to the song. Not that Cam’ron is being emotional, but when I hear the song, I get emotional and imagine all the things I hope last forever. This is the type of song I would most likely play on a nice afternoon just ridin’ around.
I only suggested my top five Cam’ron songs you should listen to but that shouldn’t stop you from listening to his other songs; even if he’s not being played on the radio right now. I hope you check out these songs and enjoy them like I do.