February 4, 2009

Cam the Wizzard


Cam the Wizzard

Illustration by Pearl Rachinsky

Cam, Gram, and G.A.M. – “Hooks”

Cam, Gram, and G.A.M. – “Drama School”

When I asked Cam the Wizzard why all the good rappers from Calgary don’t just move to Edmonton, he replied: “there’s no Chinooks and the Oilers suck.” He’s got me on one point, but my brain is a bit hazy recalling the last time Calgary won a Stanley Cup (I was 4 years old), but I digress, since this is a rap interview. Cam the Wizzard is arguably the cameo king of Alberta rap. He has appeared on a large number of releases (too many to mention here), with his most recent and notable being Factor’s Chandelier. Busy crafting his sophomore solo LP with Factor, his latest project is a group called Cam, Gram and G.A.M. (Cam the Wizard, Factor and Subtitle respectively). Keep your eye out for the new album, Party ‘til Your Body Stops, dropping soon.

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. 

Shouts/mind-blowing insight?

Man, peace to everybody, everybody who’s dope they know who they are.  Rap is the best and always will be.

Look for Cam on sideroadrecords.com and myspace.com/camthewizzard.

Cam the Wizzard

81 Responses

  1. Whoa, this shit is crazy. Really digging the new tracks. Cam’s flow is sick these days – Hooks is catchy as fuck. Hope you guys roll through sometimes when the album drops.

  2. jon b interviews get sicker and sicker everytime!

    wicked job boys! cam is the fucking man. period.

    super proud of you homies!

    can’t wait for the group and new cam lp!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. 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.


  4. awesome interview!

    pumped to be opening up for the wizzard at the end of the month again!

    these tracks got me psyched for the full length album!

    factors beats are reaallllly different from anything ive heard from him before, and are awesome!

  5. that’s a dope interview

    I don’t think it’s at all arguable that Cam is the cameo king of alberta… I’d argue he’s the cameo king of Canada lol

  6. can’t wait for the new album, cam’s flow is mean and graham’s beats are just plain disgusting lately. sideroads records is, like, my bff.

  7. ‘spam the gizzard. lol.’

    You do realize that’s the the most retarded quazi-insult you’ve come up with?

    Get a life, or some skills, or some happiness and quit trying to make yourself relevant by swinging from the best MC in Calgary’s nuts.

    Jealousy a female trait and IP is straight BITCH.

    Don’t bother replying – nobody cares about you.

  8. guys get jealous, too. also, i know this is a rap forum but let’s try keep the women/bitch allegory on the low. you know, just planting seeds.

    cam and jon are dolls! cheers, fellas!

  9. top at getting jocked by the wiggerazzi.

    good to know your still keeping taps crab.

    thanks for the kind words all.

  10. So stoked for G.A.M, sounds fuckin tight!
    And “jealousy is a woman’s trait?” wtf. If he’s a straight BITCH, you’re straight IGNORANT.
    Dope interview, Jon. Keep up the good work.

  11. you are a “hurtbag” and absolutely noone thinks cam is “top” anything in the 403/587.

    wake up.

    fuck that shit.

    i do.


  12. I get what you’re saying but come on – quit being so sensitive. Jealousy is totally more prevolent among female circles just like macho-male bullshit is more prevolent with dudes – to say women and men act the same way when confronted with the same situation is naive.

    And if you find the word ‘bitch’ offensive then maybe stay away from rap music – it’s kind’ve a common thing.

    Anyway, back to the interview.

  13. Last time i heard Cam live, my mind was blown, I can’t even fathom what tricks he’s got up his sleeve with these new cuts coming up.

    1. lol, what a dumb fucking question.

      would people please stop automatically relating this crab to me? i mean come on, im not the only calgary emcee he e-stalks. just ask dfe who’s 2 minutes behind copying every move they try to make…

  14. ram the gizzard = skull fucking your fat ass girlfriend lol

    no seriously tho i see youve gone ahead and replaced wit with caps lock so i give up, you win.

    please keep jocking me tho, i know you cant help it..

    1. you’re a wack hip-hop artist. simple.

      spam the gizzard = the wackest guest on any record, he’ll never outshine a cat! hahah.

      who you calling fat, last time i saw you – you was looking pregnant you bitch ass weak rapper.

      I got a backhand for your face!

    1. Is that because one is ACTUALLY funny and the other is just straight up annoying? ‘Cause thats how I feel about it….

  15. aw, who needs to lighten up now? the jealousy is bad enough man, dont embarass yourself further with utterly fake ass threats lol.

    and how many times do i have to tell your joan-rivers-concerned-a-little-too-much-with-men’s-appearance-for-a-homophobe ass? yes i almost got as chubby as you are. that’s why i went on a fucking diet lol.

    i mean really it is, as it always has been, all good. your wack opinion stands alone, its been accorded its due weight, and i imagine youll keep repeating it as if that makes it more valid.

    by all means, keep the comments bumping crab….

  16. huh. you know i could, but i dont really like to just waste time.

    nah, i think im going to get ready for a dirty look from behind nohow instead. thanks tho…

  17. Why does ipee alway gotta be hurt cause someone else gets shine and he never ever has other than when his close friends tell him his wack ass shit is cool.(that means they hate it and they dont wanna hurt your feelings) let someone get his asshole. take care of your daughter ya faggot fuck.

    1. hilarious, you’re dissing someone else…not me.

      goes to show even spam’s posse of losers have no valuable/true information or anything to offer.

      there’s 2 kinda people on the planet, those that ADD(like me) & those that SUBTRACT(like you)

      slap a bitch 101.

  18. You always did put musical taste before friendship, something I never quite understood. Just another way of letting you insecurities shine through.

    1. IP, I had respect for you since day one, I can’t comprehend why you fuck with masters anymore, maybe I don’t know isht, but, whether or not “spam” is the best, in your mind, quit while you’re ahead.

      Endangered is the shit, you’re a dope battle cat, but at what point did you decide to diss ma-fukas, that decided to create styles beyond previous teachings.

      Cam for mayor and for all the little kids, pay attention, with class.

    1. I am grown, but we are allowed to think hip-hop is wack vs. dope…..yes even in the days where people say if you don’t like something you’re a “hater”. The truth is there will always be dope shit & wack shit. Friendships have absolutely nothing to do with the “music” itself. I mean if some cat came outta nowhere with real ill shit, i’d support….ya dig!

      peace, IP.

  19. Man grow up.

    There’s a difference between having your opinion on someones shit and justifying why, than sitting here and acting immature. I don’t really understand what kind of self confidence boost you get from saying stuff like *bitch slap*..Worse than a 8 year olds first time visiting a chat room.
    It’s ridiculous that I’ve been visiting this site since I was 13 and your maturity is still that of what mine was then.

    Anyway. I’m stoked on this release!! And to see Cam play! Its been quite some time 🙂

  20. hey cosm,

    cam was never a “real” friend to me. simple. his actions & words proved that early in….

    real people ride with you to the end. Music & Friendship can be shared but they are different things altogether…….both of course being dope(usually)!

  21. confirmed: this is all about ip’s emotional issues regarding me.

    now that is a fucking surprise to all of no one. c-r-a-b. the definition in fact.

    lol, and cosm wasnt even talking about me. that’s just what youre fixated on right now. and yes i am creeped out…

  22. wow, a second page.

    word to me being done. if ip or anyone else wants to dr phil some 7-8 year old emotional issues regarding me, once again please keep the comments bumping.

    acknowledging stalkers only legitimizes their deulsions in their minds (obvisously hahahaha)

    the wack singular opinion however repeated lol, remains singular as always. the people on the other hand have spoken.

    thanks again all 🙂

  23. wow, u must have graduated to the pipe cam!

    lol…..u sound quite content for a cat who’s been on myspace for years and still only has 8000 plays…hahahahahaha.

    you’re weaker than 7 days goof.

    1. IP, your attempts to diss are the most pathetic things ever, seriously. You should really fuck off out of this interview, you come off as a jealous baby no matter what you post. I’m truly embarrassed for you. And who the fuck checks myspace these days besides soulja boy fans and the like? You are retarded if you think myspace plays = awesome. Its not just ugsmag that doesn’t want to interview you IP, its the world.

  24. ignorance recognize ignorance.

    lol – soulja boy is a genius, don’t front on a self made millionaire at 18 all because of myspace. I’m not into his music either but there sure are alotta kids that love dude.

    spam the gizzard on the other hand can count his fans on his 2 hands…hahaha.

  25. Just to make it clear neither I nor meliquoi are rickrooster, I posted once or twice under that name for jokes. The rickrooster name on the forum definitely is not us either.

  26. WIZZARD: Bring me a cd next weekend with Walk Jockey on it if you have any left! And i’m supposed to request “Hooks” on behalf of a bunch of my homies who want to hear that track next weekend…haha Thanks!

  27. i’ve been requesting songs at wizzard shows for like 5 years and i don’t think he’s ever actually done a song i yelled for once lol

    1. sorry dude, those are mainly all songs i wish i could do but no longer have the beats for.

      ill see what i can’t do about the walk jockey..

  28. If Cam is counting his fans on two hands, on one of those hands he should count ME.

    Jon B – you gotta stop injecting your perspectives into interviews in the form of yes/no or binary questions. Cam really rolled with it here and I’m sure most cats do, but if you want to talk about Canadian rappers biting US styles then you should probably write a column instead of trying to put words in an interviewee’s mouth.

    “Here’s an opinion of mine – what do you think of it?” is not the best way to elicit the best answers from an interesting person.

    I hope you know that I am giving you this advice with love in my heart and the greatest respect!

    1. I appreciate what you’re saying, but part of that question stemmed from comments that Cam has made on Ugsmag in the past. It’s true that I think many Canadian rappers adopt methods so they seem more legitimate, but I think you’re going to far saying that I put words in Cam’s mouth.

  29. what I’m saying is:

    – try to start questions with who/what/where/when/why/how (not so much “who” or “when” I guess, but maybe sometimes)

    – try not to start with do/is/would/should/are

    know what I’m saying?

  30. IP sure seems to waste a lot of energy dissing others. Cam ain’t my fave but he’s ten times better and more original than IP. Fuck that generic jamoke.

  31. PS He looks up to Soulja Boy because he’s a “self-made” millionaire?!

    Selfmade, yeah right.

  32. (confused) yo, i’m in the states and i heard of cam all day. but i never heard of IP. who is she?