Ranked: The High And Lows of Cam'ron's 'Purple Haze' Album
December 8, 2014 - 12:13 pm
The BEST: Let's start with the 10 best songs on the album.
10. Intro – Reminding Lil Wayne’s cult following who popularized the Uptown slang phrase “no homo,” this opening track is an ominous work of boulevard timbre not fit for a sound system in a pink Range Rover, but rather for a slow-mo drive-by scene in the ‘hood classic Menace II Society and the like. RATE: 6 AVERAGE
9. Adrenaline f/ Twista & Yung Buk – In 1994, Chicago and New York were two dangerous cities. In 2004, Chicago was still dangerous and New York wasn’t. In 2014, Chicago is as reckless as ever, and New York is a glass house on the top of a hill with a few poor men hanging off the side of the cliff. An occurrence more unmovable than Chi-town crime: Twista still outshining everyone on every track he guest appears on. RATE: 7 GOOD
8. Shake f/ J.R. Writer – The ultimate “Radio play/street/club” fusion. In fact, with this song, you can drive down Amsterdam Avenue smoking a blunt with the radio blasting while en route to the Dyckman Street Mamajuana. RATE: 7 GOOD
7. Get ‘Em Girls – Signature Dipset ring, Cam comedy: “He in boot camp, you on food stamps/ Welfare no healthcare, true tramp.” RATE: 7 GOOD
6. The Dope Man f/ Jim Jones – in 2004 Jimmy was still known as the Pink Advocate’s hype man. But on this track, Jim Jones takes the driver’s seat. West side resonance, old school influence. RATE: 7 GOOD
5. Bubble Music – Great production, signature Dipset sound. RATE: 8 BEST
4. More Reasons f/Jaheim – Cam delivers and Jaheim provides melodic contribution atop the Earth, Wind & Fire backdrop. RATE: 8 BEST
3. Family Ties f/ Nicole Wray – This Dipset street anthem doesn’t quite measure up to Juelz’s “Santana’s Town” Dipset mantra, but it’s a solid effort that echoes a familiar resonance we’ve all come to associate with the Diplomats. RATE: 8 BEST
2. Killa Cam f/ Opera Steve – While Cam bringing his Harlem posse to the Metropolitan Opera would possibly result in a Bébé’s Kids-style building implosion, complimenting Cam’s raps with theatric, melodic vocals undoubtedly suffices. Probably not “the ‘realest’ since Kumbaya,” but definitely the better of the two Heatmakerz contributions on this album. RATE: 7 GOOD
1. Down and Out f/ Kanye – If there’s a track possessing ironclad potency from which to measure the entire album, this is it. The hook and additional vocals exchange equilibrium and precision, and the sample and beat conspire to perfection, providing a head-banging effect with a few classic bars wedged throughout. RATE: 10 BEST
The Worst: Now, here's things got a lil' shaky for us.
10. Get Down – Over this redundant Marvin Gaye sample, Cam’ron does his best “sound like I’m rapping about something while rapping about absolutely nothing” performance. RATE: 5 AVERAGE
9. More Gangsta Music f/ Juelz – This obligatory Heatmakerz offering is a lackadaisical effort, and an obnoxious, cyclic Juelz leaves you with a bout of broken record vertigo. But Cam time stamping the album with a reference to the then-recent “Pied Piper” controversy is, if nothing else, slightly comical: “Get the R Kelly tape you’ll see how we piss on you.” RATE: 4 WORST
8. Leave Me Alone, Pt 2 – Once again: High-grade mixtape material. RATE: 5 AVERAGE
7.Take ‘Em to Church f/ Juelz & Un Kasa – “Harlem music”? Absolutely. The production is decent, but with all elements considered, it slightly secretes fragments of mixtape material. RATE: 6 AVERAGE
6. Harlem Streets – Listen to Cam closely, and his songs are littered with unintentional comedy; Harlem Streets is no exception.
5. More Gangsta Music f/ Juelz – This obligatory Heatmakerz offering is a lackadaisical effort, and an obnoxious, cyclic Juelz leaves you with a bout of broken record vertigo. But Cam time stamping the album with a reference to the then-recent “Pied Piper” controversy is, if nothing else, slightly comical: “Get the R Kelly tape you’ll see how we piss on you.” RATE: 4 WORST
4. Soap Opera – Another joint for the ladies with decent production. RATE: 5 AVERAGE
3. Dip-Set Forever – The answer to Cam’s: “How long we gonna have this shit on lock man?” is answered with the sample-assisted “Forever”—obviously not fair to evaluate in retrospect. Sparing us the dopey Boy Scouts complex, he doesn’t feature any of the Diplomats on this track… and we appreciate that. RATE: 6 AVERAGE
2. Hey Lady f/ Freekey Zekey – Definitely a better track than the other lady pleasers. RATE: 6 AVERAGE
1. Girls f/ Mona Lisa – Cam taps into the Cyndi Lauper classic for this slanderous track for the ladies, where he equates a jumpoff’s headgame to the speed of Twista’s tongue-thrashing, tornadic wordplay, and discusses fun passes, blisters on whiskers, and sister threesomes. RATE: 5 AVERAGE
The Worst Song on the album!