Cam, Gram, and G.A.M. – “Hooks”
Cam, Gram, and G.A.M. – “Drama School”
Introduce yourself, your crew and affiliations…
What up, Cam the Wizzard in real time. I rep myself, DJ Cosm and Side Road in the city of Calgary.
Do you feel that people expect Canadian rappers to sound American (to be legitimate)?
You know, I actually don’t think so. I mean aside from the obvious fact that dope hip-hop originated in the states, when you talk about style crabs I really do think people by in large appreciate someone with that distinct sound. I mean its always all good to jump on the trend of the minute for quick props, but when has rocking some cookie cutter shit ever panned out long term for Canadian rappers. I see more legitimacy in building something that’s going to last than being a flash in the pan, however hot you managed to be for a minute. And I mean fuck, past that if you can’t find legitimacy where you’re at and have to look south or any elsewhere to find it then you’re probably a herb who shouldn’t pick up the mic in the first place. I mean this is hip hop, I rep me and if that’s not good enough then you can fuck yourself basically.
Should Canadian artists be pressing more vinyl? Does it matter?
Oh fuck I dunno man, that shit is hard as fuck to sell. I mean yes, anyone who can, should be pressing vinyl for promo and to get out to Djs and shit – most definitely should. But as much as I hate to see it, shit is falling more and more by the wayside just like Cds. I would love to press more vinyl but it’s not really realistic to think kids are going to buy it in large amounts these days.
Are you more inspired by news headlines or the use of mind-altering drugs?
Gotta be the news man. The drugs just help get my altered mind straight these days haha! No, but I have to admit I’m a bit of a CNN junkie, its fucking sad actually. Being such a staunch liberal in a city like Calgary, you can’t help but have it influence you. I fall asleep every night with “Coast to Coast AM” on my radio and wake up to fucking “Rutherford.” I read the Calgary Sun everyday; dip-shits like Micheal Coren and Salim Mansur on the weekends. Just the type of bullshit you know is going to aggravate you but I can’t help it. Growing up in such a tweaked, cultural vortex of backwards-ass Regressionism has definitely played a major part in my artistic creation.
When is the next album coming out?
We are looking at a spring release for the Cam, Graham and G.A.M. project. That’s myself and Subtitle a.k.a. Giovanni Marks with the incomparable Factor on beats. I think it was a bit of a musical departure for all three of us that turned out really fucking dope. It will be my first release on any kind of group or collaboration and it’s hands down my best shit yet so I’m pretty stoked.
Would you ever pay cash to have Kool G Rap or Sean Price on a record?
Hahaha, fuck is that a loaded question. Well yes, if I was in a position to, yes I would pay to have those cats or someone else I considered to be of comparable stature on my record. Whether I would have done that on my first or second ever record is another question though. But let’s cut to the chase since this question is obviously about Deezus. My honest personal critique is that I would have waited to get a bit deeper as a lyricist before reaching out to some all time greats to lay down verses right beside mine. I can respect the fuck out of the fact that dude simply wanted to make the rap album he always wanted to hear but I think personally in a day and age where cameos are no longer “instant cred.” The way [songs are] exchanged, often blindly, for money over the web, then getting out-shined on your own record is not worth it. I mean people can tell, real heads can tell these spot cameos where the emcees aren’t really creatively feeding off each other. But I also think dude has handled his shit in a very professional manner which, regardless of your opinion of the end product, gives him a head start on a lot of young cats I see floating around. I mean for Christ’s sake, whatever happened to putting out a record, one fucking record, if nothing else to prove you’re not fucking wack before kids are trying to network a verse by 20 different dudes on their debut album? Trying to low ball dudes or be like “hey, I upped a song on a message board once, let’s collab!” – that is fucked up to me. I mean do you want to rap and be dope, or do you want to fucking stand there and be cool by association. But on a whole I think you should always try to pay cats who are creatively contributing to your art, especially if you’re going to be selling it. Be that cash or copies to sell or whatever your situation dictates.
What kind of record is the G.A.M. project, I’ve been hearing about it for over a year now?
Cam, Gram and G.A.M. is a fun record which is something I’d never really made before haha! Naw, but it’s definitely a lot more synth heavy than someone might expect from a record from me or Factor. You know it wasn’t really any kind of a statement or anything it just kind of started off in that direction and when we found what we had coming together was really working we just continued on the same track. Actually fuck, it all actually started with just a bunch of dudes killing it in Factor G. Studios when me and Gino just hooked up one track together and if I’m not mistaken it was Add-Vice who was at the house at the time who first voiced the thought that we should try to kill an entire project. That was when we were just starting off doing that series of shows and whatnot, so the idea got kicked around for a minute and when we got to doing some more shit it just gelled. I’m definitely stoked after shopping it for so long that it’s going to see the light of day because I feel it’s my tightest shit to date.
Do you think that mainstream rap wallows a little too much in itself?
I think a whole lot of mainstream music does period. When a formula can make cash then it’s going to get flipped and flipped again, so yeah I guess that’s wallowing. I think this has, on the whole, been a pretty superficial decade. I like to think those types of things work in cycles though. Maybe I’m crazy, but I get the feeling for the first time in a long time that a shift off dudes flossing so hard might be on the horizon.
Would Canadian rap be better off in the long term if it didn’t have a bunch of imitators biting established US styles?
Yes it would. I’ve said it before, but I mean you look at the U.K., they don’t have this weird, little brother, [this] “hey look at me, I’m cool too.” type of bullshit complex. It goes back to your first question regarding legitimacy. I mean there’s a lot to be said for the similarities in out culture, but as is the case with biters you know they don’t realize that people are going to buy a Mobb Deep record if they want to hear Mobb Deep or whoever.
Man, peace to everybody, everybody who’s dope they know who they are. Rap is the best and always will be.