After almost two years, Cam’ron’s struggle to get off of Epic Records has become a reality; he has joined Roc-A-Fella Records and will release a new album early next year.
“Basically, Dame Dash [Damon Dash, Roc-A-Fella CEO] has been managing me for the past year and a half, two years, and we just couldn’t get it poppin’ at Sony,” Cam said of his dealings with Epic’s parent company. “We’ve been vibing together good on the management tip, and we thought if we got it together on the label tip, we could get it poppin’.
“I bring a different essence [to Roc-A-Fella],” the Harlemite continued. “You got Philly [MCs], Brooklyn [MCs], they got some R&B, but they ain’t got no Harlem flavor.”
With the deal done, Cam said he ready to roll out his third LP, Blow, in March.
“It’s time to blow [up],” he explained. “I’ve been sitting around with two gold albums. It’s time to hit that next level. My album’s been done. That’s why I signed to Roc-A-Fella; they hurried and bought my album from Sony. I’m doing some new songs, but if I didn’t touch a song, it would still be hot.
Ty Fyfe and D.R. Period handled a lot of Blow’s tracks, Cam’ron said. “I ain’t have no A&R. I went in and did it. Me and my man Jim Jones and Freakey Zeakey. There was nobody to be like, ’Yo, you need a radio song.’ [Instead it was] ’We going in and knock this out.’ ”
Cam, who debuted on Lance “Un” Rivera’s Untertainment imprint in 1998 with Confessions of Fire, quickly made it to the top of rap’s freshman class that year (along with then-newcomers such as DMX and Big Pun) via his Mase-featured hit “Horse & Carriage.”
A little before his second LP was released late last year, Rivera lost his distribution deal with Epic, and things went downhill for Cam when his contract was absorbed by Epic (see “Lance ’Un’ Rivera Quietly Begins Releasing Music Again” ). Cam’ron’s primary beef with the label had to do with the way they marketed and promoted him.
“I don’t want people to think I’m a team-jumper,” Cam’ron explained. “To get it correct, Un lost his deal and I was forced to go to Epic. Epic, they’re great on the R&B tip, but I’m not answering to a n—a about hip-hop who’s wearing some damn khakis and moccasins. That’s what happened with Epic. I felt I couldn’t work with them.”
Cam’ron said that won’t be an issue with Roc-A-Fella. “People up here know what’s hip-hop,” he explained. “I’m not gonna sit back and listen to somebody who listens to 3LW all day.”