NEW YORK — As popular as T.I.'s current single is, anyone who's old enough to remember what was hot in 1984 knows the MC isn't the real "Rubber Band Man": WWE Hall of Famer Captain Lou Albano is.
Having that title was more than just a way to keep some greenbacks in his pockets. Captain Lou had rubber bands in his hair, on his face, in his beard; the dude was just a spectacle.
One person he made a huge impression on was Cam'ron. Not only did Harlem's chief Diplomat have a fondness for the Captain in and around the squared circle, he was enthralled when Albano and Cyndi Lauper teamed up for her classic video "Girls Just Want to Have Fun."
Cam recently recorded his own version of the song, and last week at the Diplomats' Manhattan offices, the flamboyant MC talked about how his memories of yesteryear influenced him.
"I always loved the record," he said. "I was 4 or 5 when it came out. I was a wrestling fan, and Captain Lou Albano was in the video. At this point in my career, seeing what girls are doing, I thought it was time to bring it back out. They be wilding! I think it's gonna be a good summer record."
In the video, Cam will be cruising in a yacht with some fun-loving girls-gone-wild while being chased by one of their brokenhearted boyfriends.
"The way I wrote [my] 'Girls Just Want to Have Fun,' it was it was a [sequel] to 'Stop Calling' off my last album," Cam explained, referring to 2002's Come Home With Me. "The dude keeps calling me, asking about his girl and where she's at. The treatment for the new video is that she's on the boat with us. We've got a Diplomat cruise going on. He's in a raft chasing the boat. He's [hand-]cuffing the chick and we're just like, 'Yo, let her be her. Let the girl do what she's gonna do.' "
Cam said the updated "Girls Just Want to Have Fun" will be the second official single from Purple Haze, his forthcoming album. The first will be a collaboration with Jaheim called "Lord Knows." The two will finish up a two-day video shoot on Tuesday (April 6).
"Now, Lord, you know just how hard I tried to live my life and get it right," Jaheim sings on the hook, while Cam raps about escaping life's pitfalls and wishing the Dip Set's resident funnyman Freakey Zeakey well until he gets home from jail in 2007.
As popular as Cam has become from his raps, he's almost as well-known for being a hip-hop fashion plate. He's looking to set his next milestone, and get paid for it at the same time: Believe it or not, Killa is trying to patent his own color.
"I'm working with some scientists," he said. "I don't know how I'm gonna go about doing it. It's unfortunate that I didn't take advantage of the whole pink situation, being that I'm the one that really put pink in the market. Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein, they see me and be like, 'Dude, you're responsible for putting this in the market.' I'm a trendsetter. It's not just black people. You go up in Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, it's pink heaven. I'm responsible."
Although Cam has been synonymous with pink for the past couple of years, his affinity is slowly wearing off. He just sold his pink Range Rover on eBay for $160,000 (see "Cam'ron Unloading Pink SUV Before Offering Up Purple Haze"), but he plans on painting both his Bentley and his Rolls-Royce Phantom that color.
Still, "For me, it's dying out," he said. "I go places and they be like, 'Why don't you have pink on?' [It's like] I can't even perform without having pink on. People gotta see it."
A new color that will be prevalent in Cam's mindset in the immediate future is, obviously enough, purple. Purple Haze is due June 8, and Cam and fellow Dip Set member Jim Jones just put out their own beverage, a grape-flavored, purple-tinted liqueur called Sizzurp.
Later this spring, Cam, Jimmy and the rest of the Dips will be competing in a cross-country auto race that runs from June 12 to June 17. Jimmy likens it to a real-life hip-hop-meets-"Cannonball Run." Three hundred cars will be entered in the event, and there will be five stop-offs along the way, where the Dips and possibly a few of their rap-world homies plan to perform.