Monday, July 21, 2014

Cam'ron "Confessions Of Fire" (Vibe, 9/98)


"Not since the '20s has a group of artists laid such artistic claim to the area known as Harlem, U.S.A. The current influx of MCs hailing from the historic uptown neighborhood is crazy. From Big L to tha kid formerly known as Murder Mase, Harlem has quietly become hip hop's (momentarily) proverbial Place To Be. At the helm of this Harlem renaissance is Untertainment's golden boy, Cam'ron. Though far from a casual stroll down 125th Street, Killer Cam's debut, Confessions of Fire, might be dismissed at first glance as yet another ball-by-day, flow-by-night project. However, if you pass up the brief checklist of Willie editorial, Cam's freshman effort convinces you otherwise. "Hey, yo, I just wanna walk wit' y'all / I don't wanna rhyme / I just need to talk wit' y'all / How you feel about me? / Yo, I think I'm pretty hot / When I rhyme, brothas grab they d#ck and diddy bop." This is what Cam casually claims on "Glory." While fellow Harlemite Mase radiates rap materialism, Cam's glamor stems from his ability to lend charismatic quaintness to his clever verbals..." Cont'd below...


"Tracks such as "Death" (which finds Cam arguing for his life against his longtime nemesis) and the humorously deranged "Confessions" (where he admits to one too many sins) display Cam's infectious, conversational flow. "Wrong Ones" brings to life a charming story of O.P.P. Other stand-outs include "D Rugs," a tale in which Cam details the destructive effects of drugs, which are personified by his mom's abusive boyfriend. Memorable contributions from Usher, Mase, and Noreaga round out Confessions of Fire, and aside from the few uninventive formulaic plays ("Rockin' and Rollin," "Me, My Moms & Jimmy"), Cam's debut is captivating throughout. Candid, thematically diverse, and entertaining, Cam'ron proves that it is indeed his Harlem World." - Vibe, September 1998.