What's poppin', boy-boys and girls? I mean, what's really, really good? The good word is that Cameron Giles, the uptown don Cam'ron, is making his first (I believe) appearance in the Emerald City this week—Tuesday, February 12, at the Crocodile. There's a huge following for Killa Cam here, which is understandable, seeing as Dipset is one of the most influential crews of this century so far. (Word to Wizdom's old airbrushed "Don't watch me, watch TV" shirt. AYE!) Now you have the entire A$AP clique trying to relive the Harlem Rap Renaissance that Killa brought to bear during their childhood, and failing to have even a skimpy eighth of the Dips' slang and charisma. This is no lazy leaned-out fuckboy thug opera, nor any nice-guy rap written for children: Cam'ron represents some of hiphop's starkest ignorance ever—that plenty of children came up on themselves, for better and for worse. But as Cam famously once said: "Man, fuck yo kids, man. Are you comin' or not?"
Yeah, so it's 2013, Dipset is in disrepair, and it's not the show you daydreamed of seeing here back in the early 2000s featuring the whole crew—Juelz, Jim, Freekey, plus your assorted Byrd Gangsters, all decked out in Timbs or Uptowns, sporting logo-bedecked Jeff Hamilton jackets and voluminous sandblasted denim. Don't forget the red bandannas and the OD do-rag abuse. You can watch all that on your favorite (and jealously guarded) hood DVDs and YouTube clips. You know damn well, though, that Killa has at least a few hours of material that will make all in attendance yell as soon as they hear the first note.
There could be no better opener for this show than Seattle's own king of incorrectness, Nacho Picasso. When I interviewed Nacho last year, he told me just how much of a Killa Cam fan he was: "Yo, Cam and Mac Dre are my favorite rappers ever," he said. "I try not to bite off people, but these are the only guys I related to. I just related more to their cockiness and their sense of humor. Cam, that's a kindred soul." Just don't try to compare Killa to Jay-Z: "Me and my nigga actually really threw blows over them millionaires! And then, when Cam went to Roc-A-Fella, we were best friends. A few years ago," he laughs, "we even went to the Jay-Z concert together! Everyone jumped on Cam with 'Oh Boy,' well I remember when this nigga was Cam'ron, like 'Horse & Carriage' era. Confessions of Fire came out when I was in middle school. I loved that one, 'cause he was still kinda weird. Those lines, they were the most disrespectful shit ever! Come Home with Me was his masterpiece, though. When Come Home with Me came out, I went crazy! I had the American flag do-rag, the rags with the matching jerseys and everything. I used to bag up crack for Jordan money, man, we all used to just bag up and listen to that album. Dipset is like the soundtrack to nickel-and-diming!"