Cam'ron's first album as part of the Roc-A-Fella conglomerate, Come Home With Me, just hit stores Tuesday, so the MC won't know for a few days if jumping ship from Epic will translate into bigger record sales. Even so, Killa Cam's been feeling the change for months.
"Off the vibe alone, in the streets, you could see the difference," Cam said. "A lot of people say, 'Oh, your music is different, it's crazy now.' It's the same music. Seventy-five percent of the music, I [had] recorded [for] Epic. Roc-A-Fella just bought the masters."
Upon coming to the Roc and subsequently bringing his crew, the Diplomats (Cam'ron said he got his camp to sign a seven-figure deal on his Roc-A-Fella imprint), Cam played his position and started mingling with his new family. Although he did admit that it took a while to bond with head honcho Jay-Z, he dismissed any rumors of friction between the two.
"When you're coming around, you don't always want to be in somebody's face [when you're] just meeting him," Cam explained. "Especially with me, I don't run behind nobody. [Jay-Z's] the hottest, everybody feels. I'm not going to beg him to do this and that. I may ask him to do something, and when he gets back to me, he gets back to me. It was a feel-out situation, but after a few months you just start vibing with people."
Cam said he and Jay gradually warmed up to each other beyond just slapping five and keeping it moving. They gelled together, with Jay making an 11th-hour cameo on Come Home With Me.
"What happened was, we had a conversation and he pulled me to the side and said, 'Even though we don't talk too much, I like your stuff,' " recalled Cam, who also pondered retiring from rap if his "Oh Boy" cologne sales go through the roof (see "Cam'ron's New Single Has A Manly Smell"). "I said, 'I like your stuff too.' Even though we don't kick it too much, it was respect there. He said, 'I'm definitely going to do something before the album is finished.' "
The duo handed out verbal contusions with a lyrically adept standoff, "Welcome to New York City."
"No disrespect to 'Welcome to Atlanta' this is Bin Laden, Taliban action right here," Cam'ron said, comparing his duet with Jay to the ATL anthem by Jermaine Dupri and Ludacris. "This song is crazy all the drama in New York at one time. Our joint is straight hard. Somebody's gonna get hurt when it comes on. You know how people get rowdy in the club. They gonna start throwing their drink around."
Shaheem Reid, with additional reporting by Sway Calloway