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RU - Killa Kam Still Got That Work

The more things change in the rap game, the more they stay the same. A decade after the mighty Dipset unleashed Diplomatic Immunity on the unsuspecting public Killa Cam is still making music like it’s 2003. Only numerous references to Instagram and a 2 Chainz feature reveal that Ghetto Heaven Volume 1 was recorded recently, but otherwise it’s business as usual for the Pink Panther. Cam’ron’s obsession with ’80s TV themes continues as he flips the opening song from silver-haired sitcom classic The Golden Girls, and there are two vintage Killa skits on some side-splitting comedy shit. Having been in the game since the Murda Mase, Big L and Children Of The Corn days, through to his solo career and establishing the crew that dominated the NY rap game for a solid eight or so years, Cam’ron has proven to be a rapper dude with rare staying power.

But beyond that, Killa Cam has given so much to the rap game that it seems almost criminal that he hasn’t been awarded with some sort of ‘Lifetime Achievement’ award for Random Acts of Greatness. Where to begin? The cinematic masterpiece known as Killa Season is a good place to start, as it elevated the cliche rapper hood flick to previously unheard of levels of beautiful ignorance, culminating in the scene where his character spits on a little girl’s head instead of shooting her. And who can forget his show-stealing role in Paid In Full, the story of ’80s Harlem drug kingpins Alpo, AZ and Rich Porter? Beyond his dramatic forays, Cam’ron also enjoyed a period of being the go-to guy for the mainstream media to talk to about all things rap related, which gave us his appearance of The O’Reilly Factor, where he taunted, “You mad! I got dirt on you, doggie!” and his 60 Minutes spot explaining the acceptable way to talk to the police.

In terms of getting into verbal spats with other rappers, Killa lived up to his name with a ruthless streak that has seen him clown Big L’s one-time weed carrier Stan Spit over the fact that his mom’s died, throw every woman ever associated with Nas under a bus, take pot shots at Jay Z and his poor choice of footwear (while signed to his label) and coined the timeless “Curtiiisss!” taunt against 50 Cent. Let us not forget the legendary Rap City freestyle session on BET which saw the Dipset capo counting stacks while he rapped about getting four million out of Def Jam without ever selling a record for them, all the while sporting a bucket hat on top of a durag and a pink Coogi windbreaker as the crew stunt in the background. Nothing short of Uptown rap perfection.

Not to say that the great man hasn’t taken his share of Ls over the years, like the incredibly homoerotic cover art of his debut album, Confessions of Fire (good thing he coined the “no homo” disclaimer, huh?), and that unfortunate video message to Curtis featuring him standing around in his boxer shorts and wife beater next to an economy-sized swimming pool. But perhaps the ultimate indignity was having to witness his former hombres Jimmy and Juelz join his nemesis 50 Cent on stage in 2007. Nevertheless, he licked his wounds (no homo) and returned a couple of years later with Vado on deck and kept it moving. King Jaffe Joe will be here forever, one way or another. Proof that having a sick sense of humor and a repertoire of witty put-downs will always get you over in the rap game, regardless of current fads. Killa!

Keep up with Robbie’s weekly ‘No Country for Old (Rap) Men’ here.