The Notorious B.I.G. once proclaimed, “You’re nobody ‘til somebody kills you.”
Cam’ron couldn’t possibly subscribe to the notion, because most of his trials have involved near death experiences in varying degrees. In 2005, an unknown assailant fired on the Harlem rapper in his Lamborghini, striking him in the right arm. Then, there was the near death of his career in a precarious beef with 50. In response, Cam’ron created a music video where he energetically leapt out of a casket to represent his sudden resurrection.
These days, Cam’ron is looking like the proverbial Phoenix rising from the ashes of the past. But the present isn’t as sweet or as simple as the public perceives. The sabbatical from the rap game was mostly self-imposed due to real family issues. His crew, The Diplomats, is the UFC of crew infighting with several conflicts running concurrently. Still Cam lives on. In 2009, he plans to release three albums (Crime Pays on May 5), a pair of movies (including “Killa Season 2”) and handle a whole bunch of other business like Dipset and 50 Cent if necessary. There truly is life after death.
AllHipHop.com: First of all, can explain your time away? We know some things, but a lot of people are assuming as well.
Cam’ron: My Mom had a stroke, she had three strokes in one day, three minor strokes. She’s paralyzed on the left side of her body. I took her to a specialist in Miami. Its about 11 months rehabilitation, transferred her back up here for about 6 months rehabilitation here, made sure she was back on her feet. You know, during that time everybody was like, “Where’s Cam, where’s Cam, where’s Cam?” People who was close to me kind of knew what was going on already, but then after a while I was like I’m in the process of doing this album. It doesn’t really make sense to come out and say anything without the music coming out so I’m like I’ll take advantage of the “Where’s Cam” situation for another six, seven, eights months. And I then come surface when its time to put the music out, but it didn’t make sense for me to come out and be like “Aye , Where’s Cam?” and we didn’t have any music to put out. Then, I’ll just be wasting’ time when its time to put music out, we might as well talk about everything at one time
AllHipHop.com: Right right, how’s your Moms? I met her in one of our earlier interviews.
Cam’ron: She’s about 75%, 80% you know she’s driving again, walking again running around being the hoodlum that she is. You know what I’m saying? My mom is real street. She’s from Harlem. She won’t ever leave. I done bought her houses condos. I gotta force her to go stay there, but she’s in love with Harlem though. She’s good. She’s doing much better. She’s not 100%. She’s walking with a cane, but she’s alright. Appreciate that though.
“I mean at the end of the day, being Dipset is like being a smith or a
Williams or Johnson once you’re Dipset, that’s your name. You in
AllHipHop.com: Would you regard this album as a come back album?
Cam’ron: I wouldn’t, but everybody else is kinda is making like Cam is coming back, Cam’s this and Cam’s that. But at the same time, I don’t think I’ve had that long of a lay off, but I view it as this is just what I’ve been doing. I’ve ever stopped recording anyway. you know I have my own studio when I was in Miami I was in the studio..made sure my mom was good I go to the studio but I’ve always been recording the whole time now also maybe that’s why I don’t look at it as a come back album but I would say about 90% of the public eye people are looking at it as a come back album
AllHipHop.com: We saw pictures of you at Six Flags or something like that.
Cam’ron: That’s old footage that’s about three years old. I seen that footage too and I was like I haven’t been to Great Adventures since 2006. I looked at one of the watches and I haven’t had that watch in years. That’s like a 3-year-old picture. People are pulling stuff out of there closets like, “Oh there’s Cam” – .yada yada yada
AllHipHop.com: Lets talk a little bit about what’s going on with Dipset. What’s your assessment of things right now as far as the crew? Is it a crew?
Cam’ron: I mean at the end of the day, being Dipset is like being a smith or a Williams or Johnson once you’re Dipset, that’s your name. You in Dipset. You know our communication – a lot of stuff surfaced in 07. We were distanced from each other two or three years before that. It just wasn’t publicized we all kind of wasn’t talking maybe from time to time maybe two or three times a year for the last two years before that. So everything kind of was like behind the scenes falling apart. It got in the public maybe 2007, but everybody’s still Dipset. Everybody got a piece of the company so it is what it is.
AllHipHop.com: So you don’t talk to Juelz or Jim or anymore?
Cam’ron: I haven’t spoke to Juelz in I don’t know the last time I spoke to him maybe Christmas ‘07. I seen him outside of the bank and…spoke…I let him out his contract in June. I called Zeke phone day before yesterday. I always speak to Zeke.
AllHipHop.com: So it doesn’t sound like real beef but more like people growing apart.
Cam’ron: Yeah, I would say that time…I was just explaining that to people…once you don’t speak to somebody for two, three or four months, you get your own schedule and you kinda go in your own lane. Especially if you’re doing alright and its just like time kind of breaks people up but its no beef like that.
AllHipHop.com: What about the whole “selling” Juelz back to Def Jam?
Cam’ron: He took that out of context. I said I sold his contract to Def Jam, which I did. You know? I wouldn’t say I sold him. I didn’t call him a slave or yada yada yada. I sold his contract to Def Jam he wanted to get out of his deal and I let him out.
“If the money is right, I’m willing to talk about anything, man.
Business is business. If the money is right, we can definitely sit down
and talk [a Dipset reunion].“
AllHipHop.com: What about Jim Jones? I just heard he had to pay you $10 million to have the use of his rap name?
Cam’ron: No, that’s not the case at all. I never even heard that at all.
AllHipHop.com: Oh nothing like that?
Cam’ron: No, that’s not true at all, nothing at all.
AllHipHop.com: So a lot people respect and believe in the Dipset movement that you all built through the years, still do. Is it possible we’ll get a reunion or another group album or anything like that?
Cam’ron: If the money is right, I’m willing to talk about anything, man. Business is business. If the money is right, we can definitely sit down and talk.
AllHipHop.com: It won’t be like people sleeping in the studio together or anything like that though?
Cam’ron: I doubt it, you know? You know, you never know what happens when you get around people you grew up with and love and have that reunion. But. to be honest, if the money is not right it doesn’t make sense to do it.
AllHipHop.com: But the money probably would be right. I mean look everybody’s looking forward to this day – a Dipset reunion.
Cam’ron: My price is different, man. You know what I’m saying? My price…I don’t really want to throw numbers out there. But I don’t know what the right money is for some people, but I know what the right money is for me. And I don’t know if they willing to give that up.
AllHipHop.com: Okay, so do you regret saying that Juelz was doing syrup (Sizzurp)?
Cam’ron: No, regret it for what? No, that’s the truth. I’m not going to sit and lie. What happened is, everybody had there side of the story. Eventually I’m going to tell my side of the story. Not just with Juelz, [but] people in general. Basically, the only reason I haven’t been talking yet, because it doesn’t make sense to talk and no music is coming out. Second of all, I’m not going to get up and blog just to be blogging. If you gonna do it, its got to make sense about doing it.
I don’t regret it, because it’s the truth and really what happened severed our relationship. I never said that I wasn’t his friend. I never said I’m not messing with him. Its like if your little brother is doing something you don’t approve of. He took it how he wanted to take it and went whatever way he wanted to go with it, but I don’t regret it cause it’s the truth. And I’m not gonna be fake and not say nothing about it. People who don’t say anything about it – those are the people that’s fake. And those are the people that are yes men and not gonna say anything.
AllHipHop.com: Do you still consider Dipset friends, family?
Cam’ron: Definitely, you know at the end of the day like with Jim, I known Jim since I was like 4 or 5 years old. I met Juelz when he was 15 or 16 years old so I knew Jim a little longer. But Juelz I still consider him family, whether he’s mad or he don’t wanna be my family or he don’t wanna be my friend. I still consider him like my little man. Well he’s not little no more, but but I consider him like my man.
In part 2, Cam’ron discusses 50 Cent’s and Jim Jones, as well as the future of the Dipset movement.