Simply put, Harlem's favorite son Cam'ron is a movement unto himself. From literally changing the face of urban fashion with his trendsetting, redefining sense of style and signature pink wardrobe, to his mind-boggling ghetto nursery rhymes, to the secret code he's developed with his Diplomats crew - 'Dip Set,' 'Byrd Gang,' 'Purple City,' 'Un Casa,' 'Sheist Bub,' – 'Killa Cam' has turned Harlemworld into Cam'ron's world.
Cameron Giles - the flamboyant young cat who would go onto become Dip Set superstar Cam'ron - came up in Harlem's grimiest streets with the same hopes, fears, talents and dreams as the other kids on the block; except young Cam was maybe that much better. Whether it was kicking rhymes with his friends, getting the latest gear just right, or playing ball, Cameron Giles had it. His love and gift for basketball was the first to truly shine: as a guard for Manhattan Central High School, young Cameron was named All-City, All-American and was eventually awarded a college scholarship based on his on-court talents. "I been this way since I was, like, three," muses Cam'ron. "From the moment I wake up at like seven in the morning in my boxers and socks, I'm that fresh. I'm Cam."
But soon, he'd enter a different game entirely. Through friend and fellow-Harlemite Ma$e, Cam had a chance meeting with the late Notorious B.I.G. Though his city-wide reputation as a baller preceded him, Biggie Smalls was impressed with Cam'ron's abilities on the mic. "Mase took me to his crib after he signed to Bad Boy and he just threw on a bunch of beats and I rapped for B.I.G.," Cam remembers. "Every beat he threw on I had rhymes, I had mad rhymes back then. Big said he wanted to sign me." Biggie and partner Lance "Un" Rivera were astounded by Cam'ron's skills and immediately signed him to their Untertainment Records.
Both his Untertainment debut, 1998's Confessions of Fire, and his sophomore release, Sports, Drugs and Entertainment, went gold. But Cam, seeking to take his career to the next level, grew disenchanted with then-distributor Epic. Ever determined and creative, Killa Cam, as he was becoming known, took matters into his own hands; he and his Harlem Diplomats crew began putting out mixtapes for the streets, well before it was commonplace.
"It's been going on about a couple years, but we made a tapes 'cause we always had music. We would put all the songs on a CD and put them out on the streets for free. We started selling them for $5 just to get our money back. After I did it other artists started doing it too," he remembers.
Eventually, Cam'ron's buzz had become larger than just mixtapes; the streets were crying for another studio album. Always an opportunist, his friend and former manager Damon Dash negotiated Cam out of his deal with Epic and signed him and his Diplomat Records to a deal under Roc-A-Fella. In 2002, Cam released his long-awaited opus Come Home With Me, which sold over one million units and catapulted Cam'ron to celebrity status. The monumental success yielded the smash single "Oh Boy," which also rocketed protege Juelz Santana to fame.
Now, with the release of Purple Haze, Come Home's highly anticipated follow-up, Cam puts it down like only he can.
"I've been working on this for about 7-8 months. I always grow every album. I'm around nice artists like Juelz, Jim Jones, J.R. Writer and a whole bunch of new people and it keeps me on my toes," Cam says. "It's like tough love and that's why every album I do is better than the last one."
From the Jeep banger "Killa Cam," to the certified street anthems "Get Em Girls" and "Shake," to the radio hits "Hey Lady" "Lord You Know" featuring Jaheim and the new single, Cam's spin on the Cyndi Lauper classic "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun," Purple Haze continues Cam's legend. Featuring appearances from the entire Dip Set crew – Juelz Santana, Jim Jones and Freekey Zeekey – as well as Kanye West, Jaheim, Lil Flip, and Twista, Cam'ron delivers his most diverse, creative and cinematic album to date. In fact, Cam plans to release a 'Purple Haze' short film in conjunction with the album.
"I want you to have the visual, even if you don't see the movie," muses Cam. "Visualize it just by listening. Its like a verbal movie or even a book."
Purple Haze's lead single, "Lord You Know," features the thunderous crooning of thug-prince Jaheim. The song, a more introspective look at the streets, reveals Cam's maturing view of the world. "The Jaheim joint is real soulful. I just wanted to give a tribute to all the people in jail. Jaheim came up with the hook and it was crazy. You feel that song in your gut," Cam says. "I think that's a big plus for everybody locked inside."
But Cam'ron reveals that his favorite song is one that strikes in the heart, not the gut. "My favorite song is 'Ghetto Soap Opera.' It's about me and my son's mom and what we are going through right now," he reveals.
Cam'ron, notorious for hisd tenacity, believes in constantly moving forward and Purple Haze is the culmination of that mentality. "If you do five albums and don't grow, then you are just stupid," Cam laughs. "That's like going to high school for four years and still being in the 9th Grade. I went from artist to CEO to selling cologne to selling liquor."
True to his word, Cam'ron is one of the elite few artists that has been able to escape the confines of the game to expand Diplomat Records into a franchise.
Along with the Purple Haze album and film, and his other ventures including "Oh Boy' cologne, Cam'ron has taken his purple game to the spirit world as well – liquor that is. Along with his Diplomat partner Jim Jones, Cam has launched a cognac-based purple punch appropriately dubbed Sizzurp. Sizzurp has secured national distribution and is set to launch this summer. Be warned: Rap's Pink Panther and Harlem's freshest Diplomat – Cam'ron – is back with Purple Haze.
-- Courtesy of Rocafella Records
--- from the official Cam'ron website