— Cam’ron continued his reign as a Harlem hero and leader of The Diplomats with the release of his fourth studio album, Purple Haze.
Purple Haze by Camron
During the early 2000s, The Diplomats, AKA Dipset, was in their prime. Much of the credit for keeping the group afloat goes to none other than Cam’ron who had released 2 major projects since the formation of Dipset in 1999. However, following The Diplomat’s release of Diplomatic Immunity 1 and 2 in 2003 and late 2004, Killa Cam returned to his solo work on December 7, 2004 with the release of Purple Haze.
With the 24-track album being his longest solo project up until this point, it’s clear that Cam’ron had plenty to talk about. Still, while not only having a lot to say, Killa Cam gave us a lot to digest as he delivered bar after bar in his signature polysyllabic rhyme scheme. Even beyond his lyrical ability and unorthodox flow, Cam also showcased a bit of his storytelling skills, though never forgetting to hit us with a heavy dosage of the street-influenced humor that makes him a hip-hop favorite. As expected, Dipset crewmembers Jim Jones, Juelz Santana, Freekey Zekey, and JR Writer made appearances on Purple Haze. Musical artists Jaheim, Nicole Wray, Syleena Johnson, Mona Lisa, Kanye West, Un Kasa, Psycho Drama, and Twista also made appearances on the album.
On the production side of things, this album gets even better. Along with Cam’ron himself, Roc-a-Fella Record’s Dame Dash and Kareem “Biggs” Burke, listed as executive producers, assembled a ‘dream team’ to handle the instrumental portion of Purple Haze. This production team included The Heatmakerz, Brian “All Day” Miller, The Legendary Traxster, Kanye West and many more. Purple Haze features a production style that leaves a number of tracks drenched in Soul. For instance, “Get Down”, “Soap Opera”, “Dip-Set Forever”, and “Down and Out” featuring Kanye West, all include samples from Marvin Gaye, William Bell, Mavis Staples, Smokey Robinson, and Chuck Cissel. Still, you’ll find Cam flowing over more energetic beats such as those on “More Gangsta Music” featuring Juelz Santana and “Bubble Music”— both containing reggae samples from artists Sizzla and Steel Pulse respectively.
Unfortunately, the release of Purple Haze didn’t come without controversy. Although the album was critically acclaimed in the streets—even being categorized as a classic album by many— the numbers paled in comparison to that of his previous solo album, Come Home with Me. Cam’ron blamed these shortcomings on a lack of support and insufficient promotion from Roc-a-Fella Records—specifically Def Jam’s newly appointed president Jay Z. Purple Haze was Cam’ron’s final release under Roc-a-Fella. Since then, Purple Haze has been certified Gold by the RIAA.
P.S. If you’ve been keeping up with Cam’ron and Mase’s recent beef, you’ll find one of Killa Cam’s classic Mase disess on Purple Haze’s 24th and final track, “Take Em to Church” featuring Juelz Santana and Un Kasa.
Check out the full album including what may be the funniest skits in Hip-Hop above.
Written by DJ Robinson