Cam'ron - 1st of the Month, Vol. 2 (EP)

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With "1st Of The Month Vol.2," Cam'ron efficiently whips between glimpses of '90s Harlem, mid-aughts parties and what the rest of his career could look like.

Few emcees indulge in their eccentricities more than Cam’ron, the gaudy gangster who can flex in a pink mink and still evoke a gritty Harlem aesthetic. Killa Cam’s maintained a lucrative and acclaimed career by glorifying the trivial and embracing the extravagant, from moving packages in Omaha, Nebraska to pulling up in a tomato Porsche wearing David Yurman.

Nostalgia operates on a 10-year cycle in Hip Hop, and the recent Dipset reunion finds Cam with both a spike in appreciation from older outlets and a repurposing for new audiences. The 1st Of The Month series thus presents the 38-year-old with a problem: how to start up the coral Range Rover again without becoming a caricature of himself, and how to ensure quality output every 30 days.

The second installment of the 1st Of The Month EP series generally accomplishes both with aplomb, and positions Cam’ron as a more mature storyteller that still brazenly drops low-brow punchlines without warning. Clocking in at just 15 minutes, the five songs of 1st Of The Month, Vol. 2 efficiently whip between rearview glimpses of ‘90s Harlem, recreations of mid-aughts parties and previews of what the rest of Cam’s career could look like.

August’s set begins with “Sweetest,” which finds a sober Cam’ron listing off lost friends over a languid sample of The O’Jays’ “Sunshine.” The rhymes remain dense—Cam’s never ditched his penchant for multisyllabic schemes and abrupt double entendres—but the harrowing narratives move smoothly down Lennox Ave. Despite an unfitting ending that’s steeped in Dipset mythos (“I’m top model, getting model top / I bust a nut like a bottle pop, mazel tov”), “Sweetest” finds Cam acting his age and refusing to embellish.

 

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