Cameron Ezike Giles (born February 4, 1976), better known by his stage name Cam'ron (formerly Killa Cam), is an American rapper, actor and entrepreneur from Harlem, New York. He is the de facto leader of East Coast hip hop groups The Diplomats (also known as Dipset), and U.N. (Us Now). Cam'ron was also a part of the group Children of the Corn before they disbanded in 1997.
In 1998 Cam'ron released his debut album Confessions of Fire on Epic, the album would achieve gold status by the RIAA. In 2000 Cam'ron released his second album S.D.E. (Sports Drugs & Entertainment). In 2001 Cam'ron signed a new label deal with Roc-A-Fella Records and released his critically acclaimed, third studio album Come Home with Me. it achieved platinum status by the RIAA, and also contained Cam'ron's highest charting Billboard single to date, "Oh Boy," featuring his artist at the time Juelz Santana. In 2002 Cam'ron starred in the Roc-A-Fella films Paper Soldiers and Paid in Full. In 2004 Cam'ron released his fourth studio album Purple Haze to critical acclaim reaching gold status by the RIAA.
In 2005 after disbanding his record label, Diplomat Records, from Roc-A-Fella Records due to business disagreements, Cam'ron signed the label to a distribution deal with Asylum Records. In 2006 Cam'ron released his fifth studio album, Killa Season. Though it did not chart higher than his previous albums, it still managed to go gold status by the RIAA. The album also contained a movie of the same name, in which Cam'ron made his director/screenwriter debut and starred as the main character. In 2009, after taking a hiatus due to his mother's health, Cam'ron returned to music and released his sixth studio album Crime Pays. It reached #3 on the Billboard 200.
Cam'ron is currently working on his seventh studio album entitled Purple Haze 2, which he has stated will be his final album.
Cameron Giles was born and raised in Harlem. He went to school at Manhattan Center for Science and Mathematics, where he met his long time friends Mase and Jim Jones. He was a promising basketball player alongside Mase, however, he was unable to take advantage of scholarship offers due to his poor academic standing. Instead, he enrolled in a college in Texas, without even graduating from high school, but soon dropped out and returned to Harlem where he began selling drugs before starting his rap career. He began his musical career in the mid 1990s, rapping alongside Big L, Mase, and his cousin Bloodshed, in a group called Children Of The Corn. After Bloodshed's death in a car accident in March 2, 1997, the group disbanded and the remaining members continued solo careers.
1998: Confessions of Fire:
Two years before Big L's murder in 1999, Cam'ron was introduced to The Notorious B.I.G. by Mase who was signed to Bad Boy Records at the time. Biggie was so impressed by Cam'ron that he introduced him to his partner Lance "Un" Rivera who signed Cam'ron to his Untertainment label, distributed by Epic Records. His debut album, Confessions of Fire, was released in a year later, July 1998 and included singles such as "3-5-7" (which was also featured in the movie Woo), and "Horse and Carriage" featuring Mase which reached the R&B Top Ten and just missed out on reaching the pop Top 40. The album achieved gold status and made the Top 10 of both the pop and R&B charts.
In 2000, Cam'ron was working with music executive Tommy Mottola and released his second album S.D.E. (Sports Drugs & Entertainment) on Sony/Epic Records. With features from Destiny's Child, Juelz Santana, Jim Jones, N.O.R.E., and producer Digga, it included the relatively successful singles, "Let Me Know" and "What Means The World To You". The album reached Number 2 on the R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart, and Number 14 on the Billboard 200.
2001-02: Come Home with Me:
After demanding a release from Sony/Epic Records, Cam'ron signed with his childhood friend and new manager Damon Dash to Roc-A-Fella Records in 2001, alongside artists such as Jay-Z, Beanie Sigel, Freeway and Memphis Bleek. A reported $4.5 million record deal was agreed upon with and Damon Dash and his Roc-A-Fella partners Kareem Biggs and Jay-Z in the form of a record advance. His third and most successful album Come Home with Me was released in 2002 featuring guests such as Jay-Z, Beanie Sigel, and Memphis Bleek, and production from Just Blaze, Kanye West and The Heatmakerz. It included the hit singles "Oh Boy" and "Hey Ma", which both featured The Diplomats newest member and protege, Juelz Santana. The album achieved platinum status and served as a stepping stone for Cam'ron's group The Diplomats to sign with Roc-A-Fella.
2003-04: Purple Haze:
In 2003 Cam'ron teamed up with his fellow Diplomats Members Jim Jones, Juelz Santana, and Freekey Zeeky to release the Diplomats' debut double disc album, Diplomatic Immunity, in 2003 under Roc-A-Fella/Diplomat Records, which was quickly certified gold by the RIAA. The album featured the lead single "Dipset Anthem", a remix to Cam'rons hit "Hey Ma" and the (street anthem) single "I Really Mean It", as well as boasting production from Kanye West, Just Blaze, and The Heatmakerz. A year later, the Diplomats released their second album, Diplomatic Immunity 2. Although not as successful as their debut, it still was boosted to gold status. Around this time in the height of his mainstream fame, Cam'ron was known for popularizing the color pink. During this period, Cam'ron was always seen wearing pink clothing and even bought an all-pink Range Rover, which can be seen in his video for "Killa Cam". Cam'ron's fourth studio album, Purple Haze, was released on December 7, 2004 on Def Jam/Roc-A-Fella Records. It featured collaborations with Kanye West, Jaheim, Twista, Juelz Santana, and various other artists and ultimately reached gold status. The album was also a critical success, being ranked 114th on Pitchfork Media's Top 200 Albums of the first decade of the 21st century List, and 10th on Rhapsody's Hip Hop's Best Albums Of The Decade List. However, after feeling that the album was poorly promoted and that his projects were not receiving the attention they deserved, Cam'ron requested his release from Roc-A-Fella Records.
2005-06: Killa Season:
On April 28, 2005, Cam'Ron officially joined the Warner Music Group under the Asylum Records imprint. He began work on what would be his first project for the new label. Cam'ron's fifth studio album, entitled Killa Season, was released on May 16, 2006 featuring production from long term collaborators The Heatmakerz, Charlmagne and Ty Fyffe, as well as others such as Alchemist and I.N.F.O.. Along with the album, Cam'ron released his first film, in which he wrote, directed and starred in, also titled "Killa Season". Despite selling 112,000 units in the first week and debuting at #2 on the charts, Killa Season failed to have the same sales strength as his two previous releases, but Killa Season became certified gold.
2007-09: Crime Pays:
After the release of Killa Season and his feud with 50 Cent in 2007, Cam'ron took a three-year hiatus from music after his mother suffered three strokes which left her paralyzed on her left side. He moved to Florida with her to set up her rehabilitation and therapy, and stayed there until she had fully recovered. Cam'ron's 2009 album, Crime Pays was released on Asylum/Diplomat Records, featuring the majority of the production handled by Skitzo and AraabMuzik. Although none of the singles from, the album managed to chart, the album still reached #3 on the Billboard 200 but only sold 150,000 units, making this the lowest selling album of his career. In 2009 Cam'ron formed a new label, Dipset West & new group the The U.N..
2010-present: Mixtapes, EP's, Collaborations & Purple Haze 2:
In late 2009/early 2010, Cam'ron released a series of mixtapes hosted by DJ Drama called Boss of All Boses which featured his new upcoming artist Vado. Cam'ron would also release a collaboration album with his new group the U.N. (group) which included himself & fellow Harlem rapper Vado entitled Heat in Here Vol. 1, the first single off the album was "Speaking Tongues" which peaked at #82 on the U.S. R&B charts. Cam'ron announced that he would be releasing a joint album with rapper Vado called Gunz n' Butta, on April 19, 2011 the album was released on E1 Music. In 2013, Vado would sign with We the Best Music Group after his personal friendship with Cam'ron eroded, although Vado maintained at the time that they still worked on business level and had no animosity towards him.
After 3 years Cam'ron & Jim Jones decided to mend their differences & start working together again for the third installment of the Diplomatic Immunity album along with fellow Diplomat members Juelz Santana & Freekey Zekey. Cam'ron announced that The Diplomat album's release will take place around Christmas 2010. The first promotional single featuring the reunited Diplomat members was entitled "Salute", it was produced by upcoming Diplomat producer AraabMuzik, though the track would later appear on Jim Jones album Capo.
In 2012 Cam'ron was featured on rapper/singer Wiz Khalifa's second studio album O.N.I.F.C. on a song entitled "The Bluff". Also In 2012 Cam'ron would be featured on female rapper/singer Nicki Minaj's second studio album Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded on a song entitled "I Am Your Leader" along with rapper Rick Ross.
In 2013 during an interview Cam'ron discussed his seventh upcoming studio album Killa Season 2 stating that it will feature guest appearances from Dipset, T.I., Nicki Minaj, and Wiz Khalifa. On October 1, 2013 Cam'ron would released his promotional mixtape for the album entitled Ghetto Heaven Vol 1.
In January 2014, according to Complex Magazine, Cam'ron and A-Trak were to team up for a collaborative EP to be titled Federal Reserve which would be executive produced by Dame Dash and have featured appearances by Juelz Santana and Jim Jones. In May, they put out the first single from the album entitled "Dipsh*ts" featuring commentary from Dame Dash & Juelz Santana on the hook & an accompanying official video as well. On July 1, 2014, Cam'ron released his 1st of the Month, Vol. 1 EP. On August 1, 2014 Cam'ron released his 1st of the Month, Vol. 2 EP, it included the single "So Bad" featuring Nicki Minaj. On September 1, 2014 Cam'ron released his 1st of the Month, Vol. 3 EP. On October 1, 2014 Cam'ron released his 1st of the Month, Vol. 4 EP. On November 1, 2014 Cam'ron released his 1st of the Month, Vol. 5 EP. On December 1, 2014 Cam'ron released his 1st of the Month, Vol. 6 EP. On December 11, 2014 Cam'ron announced that his next studio album will not be a sequel to his fifth album Killa Season but will be a sequel to his critically acclaimed fourth studio album Purple Haze entitled Purple Haze 2, Cam'ron would also announced that this would be his final album. On December 16, 2014 Cam'ron would release his compilation 1st of the Month: Box Set (Deluxe Edition).
On January 1, 2015 well known DJ Funkmaster Flex announced via his instagram that he had spoken to fellow Diplomat members Cam'ron, Jim Jones & Juelz Santana about an upcoming Diplomat's mixtape which included fellow member Freekey Zeekey, he also confirmed & stated that he will be hosting the mixtape along with DJ's/Rappers/Producers DJ Khaled, Swizz Beatz & DJ Mustard.
In 2002, Cam'ron went on to appear in the Damon Dash produced film, Paid in Full, in which he played one of three main characters alongside Mekhi Phifer and Wood Harris. In 2006 started shooting his movie for his album entitled Killa Season, the film would mark both Cam'ron's screenwriting and directorial debuts, as well as his return to acting. Killa Season was released to DVD on April 25, 2006, after a special two-day theatrical release.
On February 11, 2014 Cam'ron along with well known fashion designer Mark McNairy revealed their "Cape line" during New York fashion week. On October 20, 2014 via his instagram Cam'ron revealed & released his "Ebola mask" stating on the caption "Ebola is no joking matter, so if u have to be safe, be fashionable". Cam'ron also has a fashion clothing line entitled "Dipset USA" which is branded off his former label Diplomat Records.
Although there had been rumors of a beef between the two emcees, Cam'ron went public first with a track on "Killa Season" called "You Gotta Love It (Jay-Z Diss)" featuring ex-Dipset member Max B. In the song, Cam'ron takes jabs at Jay-Z's age, his alleged "biting" (stealing) of lyrics, and his current girlfriend. He references Jay-Z using The Notorious B.I.G.'s rhymes, rapping "You ain't the only one with big wallets got it my shit's brolick but ya publishing should go to Miss Wallace." He then released another song "Swagger Jacker (Biter Not a Writer)" to highlight the many songs Jay-Z has borrowed lines from. In the next issue of XXL, Cam'ron explained the beef originated when Jay-Z became CEO and President of Roc-A-Fella Records. In 2010, Cam'ron stated he does not have any issues with Jay-Z anymore.
In 2013, on "Pound Cake", a song by Drake, Jay-Z mentioned Cam'ron again by rapping (in the middle of a verse):
Now here's the icing on the cake/ Cake, cake-cake, cake-cake, uhh/ I'm just getting started, oh, yeah, we got it bitch/ I've done made more millionaires than the lotto did/ Dame made millions, Bigg made millions/ Ye made millions, Just made millions/ Lyor made millions, Cam made millions/ Beans would tell you if he wasn't in his feelings
Cam replied briefly on "Come and Talk to Me" off of Ghetto Heaven Vol. 1:
She said Jay made you a millionaire? and looked me in the eyes/ Said cake, cake, cake, got that from the pies/ We made each other millions, that was my reply/ had a mill before I met him, baby, that ain't no lie/ See he named some Harlem cats and the homey from the Chi / but my thing, he ain't name nobody from the Stuy
On February 1, 2007, Cam'ron and 50 Cent had a live argument on The Angie Martinez Show on Hot 97 radio. 50 Cent commented that Koch Entertainment was a "graveyard", meaning major record labels would not work with their artists. Cam'ron then ridiculed the record sales of G-Unit members Lloyd Banks and Mobb Deep by stating that Jim Jones outsold their albums despite being signed to an independent label and that his group, The Diplomats, had a distribution deal from several labels. Both rappers released "diss" songs with videos on YouTube. 50 Cent suggested in "Funeral Music" that Cam'ron is no longer able to lead The Diplomats and that Jim Jones should take his place. Cam'ron responded with "Curtis" and "Curtis Pt. II", in which he makes fun of 50 Cent's appearance, calling him "a gorilla, with rabbit teeth". 50 Cent responded by releasing "Hold On" with Young Buck. Since 2009, the feud between the two has seemed to calm down.
During this time Cam'ron was not speaking to his fellow Diplomat members Juelz Santana and Jim Jones, leading to speculation that the group had broken up. However, despite admitting that he did not want to contact Jim Jones, he said that he had no hard feelings towards him. In an interview with Miss Info, Cam'ron said: "I still haven't spoken to Jim. But Jim ran with me for over 10 years, he worked hard, and I wish him the best of luck. Everybody thinks I'm mad at Jim. Why am I mad? I told people for years that Jimmy was gonna be a star. So its better on my resume. I wish him the best." But After three years of not speaking, Cam'ron and Jim Jones mended their differences in April 2010. In late 2011, both appeared together on Wolfgang Gartner's album Weekend in America, on the track "Circus Freaks".
Both Cam'ron and Jim Jones took out their frustrations on former label-mate Kanye West in defense of former CEO Dame Dash (due to their long time friendship dating back to growing up in Harlem) by releasing a song entitled "Toast" rhyming over Kanye West's song "Runaway". Currently, neither Cam'ron nor Jim Jones have responded back. The feud has later ended, since Cam'ron, Jim Jones, and Kanye West collaborated on a song called "Christmas in Harlem"
Carjacking/Stop Snitchin' campaign:
On October 23, 2005, Cam'ron was leaving a nightclub in Washington D.C., having performed the day before at Howard University. While stopped at a traffic light at the intersection of New York and New Jersey Avenue shortly after midnight, a passenger of a nearby car threatened Cam'ron to "give up" his 2006 Lamborghini. Cam'ron resisted, and the man then shot him. Cam'ron was struck at least once as he was holding the steering wheel, but he was able to drive, going the wrong way on streets and flashing his lights, until a fan drove him to Howard University Hospital. The gunman and passenger fled and crashed into a parked car and fled the scene. D.C. Metro Police recovered a cell phone from the scene of the crash, which they tried to use to trace the suspects. He stated that he does not know who shot him.
On April 22, 2007, Cam'ron was interviewed on 60 Minutes as part of a piece on the Stop Snitchin' movement. He also stated that he would "not help the police" try to locate the shooter saying he is "not a snitch" and helping the police would probably hurt his record sales. He stated in the interview, "Because with the type of business I'm in, it would definitely hurt my business. And the way that I was raised, I just don't do that. I was raised differently, not to tell... It's about business but it's still also a code of ethics" When asked by Anderson Cooper if he would tell the police if a serial killer was living next to him, Cam'ron replied "I would probably move" but would not inform the police.
Cam'ron later issued an apology for his comments, calling them an "error in judgement": "Where I come from, once word gets out that you've cooperated with the police that only makes you a bigger target of criminal violence. That is a dark reality in so many neighborhoods like mine across America. I'm not saying its right, but its reality. And it's not unfounded. There's a harsh reality around violence and criminal justice in our inner cities." Cam'ron has had contact with the police in the past. According to The Smoking Gun, New York Police Department records indicate that Giles filed a report with police after he was assaulted at a park in Harlem in 1999.
Text from this biography licensed under creative commons license