Day 267: “Suck It or Not” feat. Lil Wayne – Cam’ron, Killa Season, 2006
On Monday I talked to Cam’ron about his new single, “D.I.A.,” which was released yesterday. In that interview, Cam discussed his cinematic ambitions and his recent musical endeavors, including the song “10,000 Miles,” which made good on a concept many people had long suspected to be true: that Vanessa Carlton’s “A Thousand Miles” would be a banging rap beat. But he also was happy to open up and talk to me about Lil Wayne, his contemporary in early-to-mid-2000s street rap that reimagined the limits of the English language.
While Cam’s fellow Dipset member Juelz Santana and Wayne were prolific in their collaborations together, even planning a joint album that was eventually scrapped, and Wayne has rapped over a number of Cam’s most iconic beats, Cam and Wayne have a surprisingly limited joint discography. That’s because, according to Cam’ron, they had more of a personal relationship than a working one. “He was like my family,” Cam explained to me. “He’d come stay at the crib. It wasn’t even necessarily music with Wayne. That was just my man.”
The one notable exception—other than Gucci Mane’s “Stupid Wild,” which unites the two with their other spiritual cousin in linguistic excellence—is Cam’s “Suck It or Not,” from the 2006 album Killa Season. The premise of the song is pretty much what it sounds like, but in case the titular question is unclear I’ll add that Wayne’s verse begins, “I get head in the strangest places.” It’s hardly the peak for either artist, but it does showcase what they each do well. Cam stacks his rhymes up in enormous syllabic piles, like when he says “I approached her, slight grin, white Timbs / number you can type in, said she don’t like men.” And Wayne trades in clever metaphors and lavish imagery, rapping, “Wayne, chillin’ like a scarecrow, lookin’ for some brain / drivin’ in the range or flyin’ in the plane.”
According to Cam, the song was basically just a matter of course: “I don’t even think we was in the studio together at the time. I had sent him the beat or whatever, and he knocked it for me, and we got it done like that. But that was more of a friend than anything else. As far as working together it was easy because that was my man.”
More notable, Cam pointed out, was what that friendship had led to. He claimed that he was hanging out with Wayne right before Jeezy and Akon’s “Soul Survivor” video shoot (in the video, Cam plays their friend). He explained:
This is probably the last person you would ever think, but like, I’m the one who introduced Lil Wayne to Young Jeezy. When I went to do Young Jeezy’s video shoot for him, with Akon, Lil Wayne was at my crib hanging out with me, and we rode over there. He’d never met Jeezy before, and I introduced them to each other. So that’s like my man. I don’t really look at it as a working relationship. That’s my dude.
Yes, you read that correctly, a story for the rap nerd annals: Cam’ron introduced Lil Wayne to Young Jeezy. Those two, of course, would go on to have a productive legacy recording together, including another song with Akon. Cam might have been out of the picture musically, but, from Juelz to Jeezy, perhaps there is nobody who secretly influenced Wayne’s creative partnerships more. At the very least, it’s a cool story to celebrate by listening to Cam and Wayne’s most notable collab.
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