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by Andreas Hale
14 December, 2004@12:00 am
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    It’s been two years since Camron came correct with the release of Come Home With Me. Since then, he introduced the world to the Dipset and turned the fashion world on its ear by proving that a man can be masculine while rocking pink. While his follow up, Purple Haze, has been pushed back numerous times, after various leaks it finally has found its way to the shelves. Shortly following Dip Set releases by way of Jim Jones Koch LP, and the Diplomatic Immunity 2 album, comes Cam’s latest foray into hip-hop, Purple Haze.

     First of all, pink is “so two years ago” and now, according to Cam, it’s all about that purple. Purple Haze begins by stating “Welcome to Purple Haze. Previously written in 2001.” Whether this is a disclaimer or an excuse has yet to be identified, but Cam begins sounding off immediately. Known for his clever wordplay and razor sharp wit, the listener should expect a lot from Killa Cam. But this album is a hodgepodge of good and bad. The album jumps off with “More Gangsta Music” which features a rather energetic, yet annoying Juelz Santana, chanting the words “Yeah” at an alarming rate and sounding more like a song by Juelz featuring Cam than vice versa. But still, there are several solid moments showcasing Cam, with solid production. “Get Down” bounces along as Cam sets the joint off. “Killa Cam” encompasses a violent thump alongside a haunting chant of Killa Cam as the purple panther rants along. “Get ‘Em Girls” rumbles along as well, finding Cam flipping through at a rabid pace. Kanye West hops aboard and delivers probably the album’s hardest joint with “Down and Out”, where Kanye’s signature sound rumbles along as Cam punishes the production with lines like “Cop me air ones hun/Lime and red/You got pets? me too/mines are dead/doggie, fox, minks, gators that’s necessary/accessories my closet is Pet Cemetery”. Kanye also delivers again with the harmonious “Dip Set Forever” allowing the Dip Set general to represent.

    But the buck stops there and stops quite harshly. Purple Haze showcases Cam’s penchant for rhyming absolute nonsense. At times there may be something clever sandwiched in between the gabble but when you have to hear Cam rant “wee-wee/easy/Oh me/O.G/little league licker” or “I was obsessed with Cookie/I wanted to sex her cookie/she said forget her nookie/wipe my nose go get them boogies/” the listener may be possessed to pounce the skip button.  His rhyme schemes seem as if they were lifted from Ghostface’s Supreme Clientele notebook, where Cam talks about absolutely nothing, but attempts to convince the listener that these words actually mean something. Leave the jabber rhymes to Ghostface and Aesop Rock, who can actually make it sound entertaining.

    The other trend that is increasingly annoyin, are joints that Cam for some reason has chosen to remake. The trend that he started when he trashed “Bout it Bout it” continues with the absolutely horrid “Girls” utilizing the Cyndi Lauper hit “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” and utterly ruining it. It’s so bad in fact, one would have to figure that someone dared Cam to put this on the album. By being one of the first hip hop artists to jack a TV show theme (“357″) and making it a hit, Cam figures he can do it again with “Harlem Streets”. But the squandering of the theme from Hill Street Blues proves that you can indeed lose if you go to the well too many times.  He continues ruining songs like Earth Wind and Fire’s smash  “Reasons” with a super sappy remake cleverly titled “More Reasons” and “The Dope Man” where NWA’s “Dopeman” (originally sampled from “Funky Worm”) is obliterated. Songs like
this should make Ice Cube grow his curl back and seek vengeance immediately. It doesn’t stop there kids, Cam’s distasteful  “Hey Lady” lifts Zapp and Roger’s “I Want to be Your Man” to try to recreate the magic of “Oh Boy” but there is nothing there. Even worse is the recreation of Twista’s “Adrenaline Rush” where the beat hasn’t been changed at all and both Twista and Psycho Drama rip Cam apart.

    Purple Haze could have been a solid album if it was chopped in half. Losing all the flavorless filler in favor of solid songs could have made Purple Haze an album to remember. But after being tormented with 24 tracks, Purple Haze proves to be a hard listen. By losing the magic that made “Camron the Pink Panther” famous, Purple Haze may indeed be a thing of the past already, so leave it to Prince and Jimi. Fortunately Cam can revel in the fact that he at one time was a trendsetter.

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