By Paul Cantor
Vado is large on the streets right now. The Harlem-bred MC is slated to release his debut retail mixtape Slime Flu on October 12th via E1 Records and it seems like all the chips are falling in place for him to be the head of hip-hop’s upcoming freshman class.
Vado was recently selected to appear in “Common and Diesel presents.... Only The Brave,” a docu-style video series profiling upcoming artists, giving fans an introspective look at how they made it to where they are. The series is narrated by rapper Common.
“When I was young I wanted to be that dude on the block,” says Vado, whose “Only The Brave” video found its way onto blogs and websites across the net yesterday. “When I became that dude on the block, I wanted to be that dude in the hood. When I became that dude in the hood, I wanted to be that dude in the town. When I became that dude in the town, now I want to be that star.”
The video finds Vado in his hood, Harlem, but also captures him with his mentor, Cam’ron, who only has words of praise for his protege.
“One thing you can say about him, he's consistent,” says Cam. “Like, hot song after hot song after hot song. End of the day, he's a trendsetter as well as a rapper. I can kind of spot when other people following what other people are doing. He got an overall package.”
The relationship between Cam’ron and Vado has been under the microscope of late, mostly due to the announcement that the former has officially reunited with his Diplomat comrades. It’s been speculated that Vado might take a backseat to Cam’s Dipset priorities, but if there’s any ill will, Vado isn’t letting on. Quite the contrary in fact; Vado thinks it only makes things better.
“It's a takeover,” he said in a recent video interview posted on Funkmaster Flex’s blog, InFlexWeTrust. “With the whole Dipset reunion, everybody getting back together, that's how it should be. I just make it more better. They was already like a squad that was like N.W.A., they just added a new artist to it, so it's gonna be greater.”
Vado also touched on being compared to Juelz Santana, who he says he knew before anyone else in Dipset.
“Ya’ll make it seem like he the only person that can have swag; he ain't,” said Vado. “We all from Harlem. Everybody from Harlem got swag. My relationship with all of them is cool. They show love when they see me. Ain't no hate on this side, ya'll need to realize this.”
Today (September 28), “Goodfellas,” a new song from Slime Flu leaked online. The horn-laced track finds Vado making a thinly veiled comparison between his UN crew and the gangsters from Martin Scorcese’s classic 1990 mob flick of the same name.