16 Songs, 52 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Few rappers who blew up in the first decade of the 2000s made it through the 2010s. Even fewer did so with anywhere near the level of listener loyalty afforded to Cam’ron. That elevated status has much to do with the enduring legacy of his revered 2004 album Purple Haze. Fifteen years later, the Dipset icon rewards everyone’s patience with a new testament all but guaranteed to put his fans at ease. Where a lesser artist might’ve tossed out a sequel without much care, the familiar Heatmakerz producer drop and chipmunk-speed soul on opener “Toast to Me” makes clear that Harlem’s Greatest has every intention of honoring the original with this new work. To that end, he tells tales of the grind and spits all kinds of game on dynamic tracks like “Big Deal” and “Fast Lane,” his gruff voice buoyed by street gospel beats. Demonstrating love for his hood, he secures the still-incarcerated Max B for no fewer than two features, and reunites with Jim Jones for the unbowed “Straight Harlem.”

EDITORS’ NOTES

Few rappers who blew up in the first decade of the 2000s made it through the 2010s. Even fewer did so with anywhere near the level of listener loyalty afforded to Cam’ron. That elevated status has much to do with the enduring legacy of his revered 2004 album Purple Haze. Fifteen years later, the Dipset icon rewards everyone’s patience with a new testament all but guaranteed to put his fans at ease. Where a lesser artist might’ve tossed out a sequel without much care, the familiar Heatmakerz producer drop and chipmunk-speed soul on opener “Toast to Me” makes clear that Harlem’s Greatest has every intention of honoring the original with this new work. To that end, he tells tales of the grind and spits all kinds of game on dynamic tracks like “Big Deal” and “Fast Lane,” his gruff voice buoyed by street gospel beats. Demonstrating love for his hood, he secures the still-incarcerated Max B for no fewer than two features, and reunites with Jim Jones for the unbowed “Straight Harlem.”

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