Review: Crime Pays

camronIt almost pains me to write this, seeing as Cam’ron is one of my favorite rappers, but there’s no getting around the fact that “Crime Pays” is a mediocre album.

Things looked bright after Cam’s mixtape last year, and the early leak of songs “I Used To Get It In Ohio” and “I Hate My Job,” but as it turns out, those are two of the best songs on a record that’s stuffed with filler – it runs a staggering 70 minutes. Cam could have used some judicious editing to make this a lot tighter and less skippable.

But the biggest issue I have with the CD is that it sounds so damn cheap. Back in his heyday, no one was better at using bombastic beats and soul-drenched samples than Killa, using sonic landscapes from the Heatmakerz and Kanye West to perfectly illustrate his twisted tales.

But I guess since Cam is no longer playing with the big boys, he doesn’t have the production budget he’s used to.

Here, the production is handled by a couple of no-name cats (Skitzo and Araab Music) who ride hard on their Casios, producing an album of undistinguisable beats save for “Silky (No Homo),” which is blessed with a flip of King Floyd’s classic “Groove Me.”

The first half of the disc is its best, frontloaded with “Silky,” “Ohio” and “Curve.” “Never Ever” has a weird, Broadway musical kind of beat, but there’s something catchy about it.

After that, though, Cam gets bogged down in a parade of average songs (“Spend The Night”), lackluster guest appearances (where art thou, Juelz Santana?) and plain ol’ what-the-hell-was-he-thinking songs (“Cookies-N-Apple Juice”). 

Surprisingly, most critics seemed to enjoy the album (a B in Entertainment Weekly, 3 1/2 stars in Rolling Stone) and it debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard charts. These are all good things – I want Killa to have success, because I’m hoping he’ll have a little more cash and cache to make his next album.

Plus, how can you not support a guy who does this:

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~ by Elliott on June 3, 2009.

2 Responses to “Review: Crime Pays”

  1. What happened to Cam? He needs to hook back up with Dame Dash so he can get his Harlem swagger back. He made Jim and Juelz who they are and they kinda left the man out to dry….kinda messed up if you ask me.

  2. Who is Cam????

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