It doesn't take a rocket scientist to realize that there's always been something a little off about Cam'ron. It's been well-documented that Cam'ron exists in the same solar system as Bobby Brown, Mike Tyson, R. Kelly and Ron Artest. From his predilection for purple, chinchilla or making homophobic remarks seemingly everytime he opens his mouth, something about Cam'ron feels like he just wasn't made for these times.
But exactly what was so off about Cam'ron, I didn't realize until the other day when I was leafing through my CD collection and came across T. Rex's Tanx album booklet. Since I'd never actually read the thing all the way through before, I started to read the albums lyrics. Needless to say, it wasn't long before I stumbled across the words to track one, "Tenement Lady."
"Tenement Lady, stone drug mama, street hawk stone heart mind that swiftly falls apart/
Sudden Sid Groove Lid, sharp as the dark park, pickle pump peeper/mind that swiftly falls apart/
Count Lurch Hearse Head, prince of the snick snacks/got a pierced ear mind full of the sailors with their perfume/Molly Mouse dream talk, gin house milk shake/ she steals my magazines, she's a laser-lipper lover."
On paper, this seems to make absolutely no sense, but there was something about it that seemed vaguely familiar. Then it hit me, the lyrics sounded like they could've be the best Cam'ron verse of all time. And not just because Cam has a pierced ear mind full of Jim Jones with his perfume. But it seemed awfully similar to the type of thing Cam'ron would've written had he been a 5'5 Jewish London Glam Rock Superstar during the early 1970's, rather than a 6'0 Black Harlem Coke Rap Superstar in the mid-2000s. All the wildly imagistic gibberish, the nonsensical yet somehow entertaining non sequiters, the overwhelming drug-infused flamboyance. They even had similar rhyme schemes.
Confessions of Fire? Honestly, Do I Even Need to Make this Joke?
Just check out Cam's verse from "Killa Cam."
"When I say hammertime/beef I'm hammer mine/when I got my hands on nines if I had on bammerline/cordoroys Cam will shine/Canary Burgundy I call it Lemon Red/Yellow Diamonds in my ear call them lemonheads/lemonhead end up dead/end up like Winnipeg/Gemstones Flintstones You could say I'm friends with Fred/you want happy scrappy I got Pataki at me."
If anyone's interested, feel free to give me your interpretation of the line "You could say I'm friends with Fred," in the comments section. I think we all know what he's getting at. Not like there's anything wrong with that.
But there seems to be more to this connection than just lyrical similarities and sexual ambivalence. Even Bolan's and Cam'rons careers seem to be following a direct parallel. Like Cam'ron, it took a while for T. Rex to blow up even though both seemed to be at the epicenter of their respective music scenes (Cam'ron in Harlem in the late 90s, Bolan in London in the late 60's). Both had failed to make it big with a group once before, Cam with Children of the Corn, Bolan with Tyranosaurus Rex, the earlier more folky incarnation of T. Rex.
Drinking Sake On a Suzuki in Osaka Bay? Can I Still Wear My Boa?But there's more. Despite having had huge singles in the past, for T. Rex, "Ride A White Swan and "Hot Love," for Cam'ron, "Horse and Carriage" and "What Means the World To You," neither artist became a major star until the release of one album in particular that caused their careers to accelerate into the stratosphere. For Cam'ron, it was the platinum-selling Come Home With Me, for T. Rex it was the supremely awesome Electric Warrior.
Additionally, both artists followed up their biggest commercial success with albums that failed to move as many units: T. Rex's The Slider and Cam's Purple Haze. However, both albums still resonated with the die-hards, as many fans of both artists will vouch for the brilliance of both works. Most interestingly, they followed up both of these efforts with an album that seemed to push them further from the limelight, Killa Season and the aforementioned T. Rex Tanx album. Hell, even T. Rex made a vanity film called Born to Boogie that managed to get just as critically savaged as Cam's ill-fated attempt, Killa Season.
Most bizarre, Bolan left the world within a year of the time when a young Cameron Giles entered it, as Bolan died in 1977 and Giles was born in 1976. Needless to say, it should by now be clear to all sane and reasonable minds that as Bolan died, his soul traveling on its way out of the universe suddenly decided that he wasn't through with earth, and henceforth transported himself into the body of a young Cameron Giles. Bolan's spirit then decided to return back to the music world as Killa Cam, perhaps one of the most flamboyant musicians in the world today. After all, how else to explain the walking psychological amusement house that is Cam'ron. How else could he make sense? Clearly, if anyone in the music world is the reincarnation of a sexually ambiguous glam rock star, well who else could it be but Cam'ron.
I'm a Jeepster For Your Love (No Homo)