Friday, July 04, 2008

Killa Lets the Beat Build: A Deaf Review


It's troubling that Cam seems so into taking this picture, yet this Alan Cumming-lookin' boy is the sheepish one.

I'm visiting P.T. in Austin and catching up with my family in New Orleans, so my blog game is slipping. I've been doing the polite "Can I check my E-Mail?" and only pacing the bare necessities. While I was on the road yesterday, however, my buddy called to let me know that Cam'ron released a freestyle over "Let the Beat Build." So that's pretty much the best combination since paper and ink, and it's saying something that people call me just to let me know this is in existence.

I don't have my own computer here though, and some people are weird about downloading stuff onto their machines, so I'm going to review the song without hearing it. I mean, I have about the journalistic credibility of Maxim anyway. Here we go:

The only other track that Killa has dropped lately is "My Aura," a forgettably bombastic snack of Dipset boilerplate, so the casual, tossed-off air he brings to "Let the Beat Build" is refreshing. No matter what, any Cam song is going to have one or two plays on words that make you smile--here it's "And I'm drinking a Riesling/While you moochin' and leechin'/Killa Cam, X-Man/Y'all niggas know that I'm Beasting"--one reference that comes out of nowhere (he says something about Festivus?), and maybe a catch phrase if you're lucky. And the intros and outros are as entertaining as any of the actual lyrics.

The difference in a good Cam song and a bad one has to do with the beat selection and how hard he's trying. As far as the beat, you don't have to worry about Kanye and Deezle's reductive, breezy loop. Even though every rapper has freestyled over "A Milli" already, this seems like the more logical choice for an improvisation than the more claustrophobic Bangladesh beat. And the fact that Cam'ron tosses punch-lines out every four bars--no matter what the beat sounds like or what the subject of the song is--fits this pattern well. He always gives you the best line as the sample yeah-yeah-yeahs. That structure holds up, and Cam's throatiness sounds good over it.

Overall, this is an encouraging step in the evolution of Cam: "I can do it acapeller and you still nod/And that's how you let the beat build, ma."

Okay. Whatevs. Let me know if the song is actually any good. I'll get to it eventually.

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