XXLMag.com: So before starting press for this album, what was the last public appearnce you made?
Camíron: I was at a Lil Wayne concert íbout three nights ago in Ohio. Lil Wayne, T-Pain, Keyshia Cole, Gym Class Heroes. I was up there last time.
XXL: Backstage? Watching the show?
Cam: Backstage just chilliní out, watching the show with Lil Wayne. Because I was in Ohio, so I was over there checking them out being that he was in my town or whatever.
XXL: Youíve always had a connection to OhioÖbusiness there, right?
Cam: Yeah, I had a couple clubs out there. I do a lot of First Of The Month parties out in Cincinnati, then I had bought my own club out in Columbus, Ohio. Itís very lucrative out there, so I went out there to take advantage of the situation.
XXL: So whatís your label status? There have been a lot of rumors of you going to different labels.
Cam: Yeah, thatís what Iím trying say. Thereís a rumor that Iím signing back with Roc-A-Fella, like some of this stuff is out of control. My situation is Iím signed to Asylum and I owe Koch a Diplomat album. And I have a Killa Season 2 movie and soundtrack, which I donít know exactly if thatís gonna be on Koch or Asylum, right now, weíre negotiating with both of them now. But me as an artist, Iím signed to Asylum, I never was going to SRC or whatever labels there was rumors about. Thatís that, thatís the end of the story.
XXL: Do you think fans are too nosy, nothingís ever enough?
Cam: Definitely. I would say that a million percent. But sometimes the fans just canít get what they want.
XXL: When you say that youíre going to work on a Diplomats album is that with everybody? Or is that just you? Is that Diplomatic Immunity?
Cam: Nah, what happens is when I give Koch an album regardless I know Alan Grunblatt is gonna throw Diplomats on it whether itís me and you on a song or me and my man Tito up here driving. Heís gonna put Diplomats on it regardless. So therefore thatís why I said that I owed him a Diplomat album.
XXL: Youíve said everyone owns a percent the Diplomats but you own the biggest percent. Have you made it a priority to try and own a lot of things along the way?
Cam: When I got to try to get killacam.com, I canít get killacam.com because somebody in Nebraska owns it and he wants to charge me $150,000 for my own name on the website. I try to go get camron.com, or just different stuff where I feel itís my name and somebody else owns it before. If you look at all our credits in our albums, it says Diplomatic Man and it doesnít say Diplomats because when we was yelling out ďDiplomats, Diplomats, Diplomats, DipsetĒ somebody from Canada owned that. And we couldnít even use the Diplomat name. A lot of times people donít even know, if you look in the credits of all the old albums, it says Diplomatic Man because we couldnít own Diplomats. We were saying it but we couldnít own it. But then their copyright ran out and I grabbed it. As soon as their copyright ran out, I had the date marked down and I made sure my accountant was on it so we could own it. But we was running around for two years saying ďDiplomats,Ē ďDipsetĒ and legally we couldnít even use it. After we got the Diplomats brand, thatís when I started getting hats made and shirts made and so on and so forth.
XXL: How often do you stay in touch with Grunblatt?
Cam: We speak two, three times a week. Thatís my man at the end of the day. Alan offered me an A&R job two and a half years at Koch. I turned it down, Iím not going to work everyday, sittiní in meetings, marketing meetings. Iím not doing that.
XXL: Does Jimís new position at Koch make him your boss at all?
Cam: Whatís his position?
XXL: There was recently news that Jim has a new big A&R position at Koch.
Cam: No, at the end of the day Jim is not my boss over there because all I have to do over there is turn in my album. And thatís that. I donít have to have a meeting; I donít have to talk to nobody. I turn my album in and I get my money and Iím out. I only owe them one album. And I never had an A&R and thatís not disrespecting Jim or nobody else. I donít do A&R because I already have my own vision.
XXL: Then you also gotta care about other peopleís projects, right?
Cam: Exactly. Thatís what Iím saying, and a lot of times I got a good ear but Iím just not with going into the office everyday and sitting there doing that. I could do that with my own artists and sell my own distribution company.
XXL: What happened with the Tru Life incident? What is true that he punched you in your eye or something? What happened there? íCause the timing coincided with all the other stuffÖ
Cam: Basically everything kinda happened back to back to back. With him what happened was he was with a few people, I was by myself, about three or four of them, they had the drop on me. They swung, nobody touched my face, nobody decked me, nobody did nothing like that. Ever. But they definitely had the drop on me. I was downtown by myself. It was about four or five of them. But nobody got punched in the face, no punches was thrown. They was right, they had they little things on them, they was right. I wasnít and that was the end of it.
XXL: Do you find yourself protecting yourself a lot more because of that and because of when you were shot?
XXL: So do you live a different life because of that?
Cam: Different life? Nah, you gotta realize this is like the drug game. If you donít wanna be prepared for everything that come, get out the game. Go be working. Go be a librarian. Know what Iím saying? Thatís like somebody that play football and get hit and then be like, ďWhyíd he hit me so hard?Ē This is part of the game. I knew this coming in. And at the end of the day, this is sweet. I think music is way sweeter than what I was doing way before this, so hell no, I donít protect myself. I was protecting myself when I was living on 140th and Lenox, in the tenement everyday with mice running across my feet. Waking up with roaches in my pajamas. Thatís way worse than anything that be going on in that music business.
XXL: What do you think of the music business right now anyway?
Cam: I think music is great. A lot of people are like, ďAhhh, the Internet,Ē this, that and the third, but if you promote and market yourself right then youíll do good. Great example of that is Lil Wayne who sold a million records in a week last year.
XXL: When they said it was impossible to sell a million records in a week.
Cam: Exactly. You got Kanye who just put out an album majority singing and sold 450,000 albums. You got T.I. that sold 550,000 copies. Even when Kanye and 50 Cent came up, pardon me, Curtis came up, they sold 800,000 and 900,000. Itís great. Itís great. Itís all about marketing and doing your stuff right. People come out and donít do the sales they supposed to do or they think they supposed to do and itís like, ďAhhh, the Internet is messed up andÖĒ Nah, itís about marketing and promoting right and itís about if people really want you.
XXL: But if your ****ís good, thereís no denying it.
Cam: Exactly. Thatís the moral of the story.
XXL: The Internet is a great tool if you can figure out the right way to use it.
Cam: Exactly. If you sit there and put your whole album on the Internet and nothing else and then it doesnít come out for six months, then yeah, youíre going to get robbed and pillaged and itís not going to be a great look. But if you sit there and do the little DVDs and promote and the video clips and blogs and let people know whatís going on itíll be a great tool to market.
XXL: Are you surprised at all by Jimís musical success?
Cam: I mean thatís another thing that people ask me like, YoÖ People say, ďJim and them is doing this andÖĒ I fought for them to get deals. Iím the one who told people that these kids was goní be stars, you understand what Iím saying? Def Jam didnít wanna sign Jim or Juelz. I had to go in there and prove a point. Without them Diplomat mixtapes and keep beating people over the head, no homo, with songsÖ
XXL: And then there was ďHey MaĒ and ďOh Boy,Ē that whole run there that was really big for you guys, it really set you up.
Cam: You can ask Dame Dash, when I used to tell them, ďYo, Jim is goní rap,Ē they used to be laughing. They used to think I was joking. But I was like, ďNah, you goní see,Ē ícause at that timeÖ not like laughing at Jim in a bad way, but like, ďCome on, Jimís not gonna rap.Ē I was like, ďWatch. Iím telling you.Ē I used to tell Dame that all the time when we was at Roc-A-Fella but nobody kind of like took me serious. But I already seen it.
XXL: If you were an editor at XXL, who would you wanna read about right now?
Cam: If I was an editor at XXL, the only person Iíd wanna read about is myself because Iím the most interesting thing out there besides the flyest, handsomest, best rapper that youíll ever meet. Who else would you wanna read about?-Vanessa Satten