Tag Archives: Dipset

Mixtape Review-The Program by Cam’ron

Mixtape Review-The Program by Cam’ron

by Dan-O

I may have been more excited for this mixtape than I have been for any all year. While people can consider Cam out of the spotlight, past his prime, whatever way you want to say rap has “passed him by” I disagree.  1. Rap hasn’t passed him it has embraced him. The new generation of eccentrically dressed weirdo rappers are very very Dipset. 2. Cam has been laying incredible guest verses for a while now:  see S.D.E. by Dave East featuring Cam, see Moving Weight Pt. 1 by Pete Rock & Smoke Dza. 3. What an artist does when the spotlight has passed is a very critical part of their career. It clarifies how much of what you loved about them was authentically present within or just came out when all the eyes did.

Given that Cam had been sharpening his sword and watching the game I figured he was ready to talk crazy again. The Program delivers! On the first song (It’s Killa) he tells the story of Ma$e calling him to bail him out of a tough spot in some ugly projects and Cam saving him by showing up strapped and making it known. Once the trouble passes Ma$e offers Cam a $100 and Cam feels insulted being a very profitable drug supplier. The song Coleslaw starts with “Kanye got on stage what he do? Play Jay-z out. What he do next? Check into the crazy house. F*&^ that you made a living talkin’ greasy, besides that man you Yeezy with the Yeezy’s! Be yourself you ain’t gotta go AWOL and F@*$ that Ye I been this way since Ye tall. If you regret it than dead it  but if you said you said it you meant what you said can’t tell me forget it, FORGET IT. I’m different I’m from a different type of hunger N_.” The immediate internet response probably views this as a washed up artist looking to trend but that ain’t Cam.

The Program reveals Cam’ron as the 1992 Charles Barkley of rap. That special kind of artist who gets to say exactly what he wants and survive it; laugh in the face of 50 Cent and Bill O’Reilly. He’s goofy enough to make Cyndi Lauper’s Time After Time into Dime After Dime and absurd enough to use a fantastic Jus Blaze beat to make a song about kissing the mirror (Kiss Myself) but even the jokes let sincerity shine through. I love the first verse of Lean. He uses Bill Withers Lean On Me to floss drug tales but his beating heart is behind these stories.

“(Lean) They couldn’t understand me, now I find it ironic

I grew up with Big L, all I knew was ebonics

Jealousy, crack, greed, homicide and chronic

Where niggas catch a body, changed their name like the Sonics

It was hot like Phoenix

I used to look up at the Lennox Ave sign hand on my heart and pledge allegiance

Drama 15 years straight, nothing recent

But I’ma call the state for back pay, they owe me grievance

And you can’t knock that, block the block with the top back

Open up that Fanta, I got that”

If you listen to the 15 songs and shake your head because Cam is too much: Remember Game is too petty or the Curve skit is odd… you have a fair first reaction. Listen to it again and try to hear how sincere he is on U Wasn’t There. Keep in mind you might not ever find a new Cam.  Ask yourself honestly if you miss this kind of big anthemic NY hip hop production with sharp lyrical humor over it. By the third listen the questions will fade and you’ll just be grooving.

stream or download The Program below:



Songs of the year: Vado-Off Hiatus


Songs of the year: Vado-Off Hiatus

by Dan-O

Slime Flu 3 is the strangest mixtape of the year so far. Half of it is boring because Vado raps so slow that his punch lines seem to be running through swamp water but the other half is like this. That other half where you catch his weird doubled background vocal laugh and think “that’s not how real people laugh” or you hear him say worser and smile; maybe you don’t hear any of that and the luscious vocal sample and NY boom just envelope you leaving 3 minutes and 48 seconds of screwfaced head nodding. Even with a bad half I have Slime Flu 3 in my top ten mixtapes so far. I’m a sucker for Kleinfeld references and sludgey NY tough talk(I also love yelling F#ck Geraldo). Rap needs people like Vado so this sound doesn’t ever go away. If this came out in the 90’s you would have loved it, be honest.

Freestyles to free albums:the songs that got us there

Freestyles to free albums:the songs that got us there

by Dan-O

If you know Tru Life it could be for the wrong reason, stabbings in 2009, a fatalists relationship to beef dvds. You might remember Jay-Z signing him as Dipset protection never with any intentions to help his career. Tru Life did for a brief time move forward the art of mixtape dissing which used to be a wholly angry affair. When Tru Life dissed you it was like a roast that became way too personal.

He picks apart dipset to an R. Kelly melody calling Juelz anorexic, questioning the need for rhinestone belts over spandex tight jeans. He doubles the vocals with his laughing. It’s hard to explain how angry dipset was about these attacks. You could see Jim Jones interviews where he denied knowing who his adversary was and in the same sentence spit blistering curses at him. Dipset was famous for joke dissing already but this was different. Tru was laughing and saying Jim Jones pants were so tight he could count the change in his back pocket.

A song like this can’t help but stew in homophobia. Taking that out of the equation along with the tragic story of Tru Life and his personal life beef first philosophy, whenever someone takes this template and really clowns someone hard I think about this song…I can’t imagine what the dipset reaction was when they first heard this. Was it funny enough that someone in that room laughed at the blistex and asthma pump line?