Boss Of All Bosses, Pt. I: A Review
***EDITOR’S NOTE: I will be compiling a brief review of both Boss Of All Bosses mixtapes by Cam’ron & DJ Drama, featuring Vado, Charlie Clips, Rick Ross, et. al.
It’s still DIPSET/U.N. — Dipset is never over.
As Cam fans know, he is the absolute dean of Intros and Skits. Boss Of All Bosses starts out with a short and sweet string of sarcasm with Killa pontificating that he doesn’t use any social networking — as only Cam can: “I don’t Twitter, I don’t MySpace, I don’t Facebook… if you wanna see me, see me in the street” ha.
Rating: 4/5. (Brevity)
2. “Pop Off”.
I love this track. Araab Muzik is on his own wave with his beats on this mixtape. From the very beginning when Cam’ron declares “Araab Muzik, let’s go!” the track goes IN. There are so many quotables from the very first bars and throughout. Vado was on something else here, because he thoroughly murdered this beat.
“And I ain’t wit the autotunes, but if you ain’t a rapper, then what yo ass gonna do? HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA”
HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA (he stole that from me, as those of you on Facebook know — I use “ha” and all of its variants quite frequently, and have done so for well over a year now ha).
Lyrically, the track is okay. I like the sample (or apparent sample — sounds like action movie music from the 80s) and the patented Araab Muzik eagle cry in the background. For some reason, it just doesn’t do all that much for me. One of my least favorite tracks on the mixtape.
Cam does use chat lingo, though… “like W. T. F… what the f—???” ha.
4. “La Bamba”.
This was one of the first songs I heard leaked for the mixtape. At first, I didn’t take it seriously, but after a while I began to appreciate it. I had grown tired of the ultra-slow songs. But listening to the lyrics were just crazy. It built to a crescendo at the end. Cam did his thing, but Vado WAS BANANAS on here. Definitely one of my three favorite tracks on here. HUHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!
5. “Ric Flair”.
Ha. Cam would make a song referring to Ric Flair. PAY ATTENTION! And he kills me with the ad-libs — always with the conversation within the lyrics:
Cam’ron: “Put you next door to Mike Jack… roommate Redd Foxx (YES!)… I’m from Lenox (YES!)… my Jamaicans, rudebwoys LENNOX (Tito!)… we bumpin’ in… (where???)… the Comfort Inn… (oh.) ha. I love that hoodrat “oh” response, because it reminds me of kids from around the way.
Vado: “School of Hard Knocks, I’m more valued than a principal… these n—-s got no morals, values or principles…”
Vado: “5 for 22, I’m like ‘WOOOOOOO!!!’ Ric Flair…”
6. “Hustle” (Featuring Rick Ross).
This is may favorite track on here. Everyone who knows me KNOWS I love the classic Dipset sound. The sample they used for this track was perfect and the slow flow/hesitation beat is perfect in my opinion. Some people hate the slow flow, but not everyone can do it. It takes real skill. Ask any real rapper. Plus it fits a person whose ego is bloated (as Cam’s is — to a degree, relative to how it used to be [exorbitant]). Even OFFICER RICKY didn’t mess it up with his “bars”.
Vado, as he did on the entire mixtape, went absolutely NUTS at the end of this track. If you know what Cam and Vado are talking about (which most of the haters/people who genuinely don’t like them usually DON’T), you probably put this at the top of your list on this mixtape. The pause in the middle of the song was just extra effect. Makes it even more poignant. Sounds like a true Hustler Lesson taking place, in my best description.
GIVE THIS ONE A FEW EXTRA SPINS.
7. “Get It” (Featuring Ma$e).
I just cannot take Ma$e seriously anymore; not as a rapper, not as a pastor, not as a street dude who used to live on 134th. Kind of ruins the song for me. I don’t like the beat anyway. It got a lot of attention for a while, because everyone was glad to see that Cam and Ma$e finally did a track together since 1999 (when they recorded the “F— You” sequel for “S.D.E.”), but it was 10 years too late and too much irrevocable damage done. A shame, though. If they could have gotten past that trivial, petty nonsense surrounding “Horse & Carriage” can you imagine where both their careers would be now?
8. “Can’t Say Goodbye”.
I love this song, if for no other reason than the Mike Jack/Jackson 5 sample. Just sit back and enjoy it. Hard to even catch some of the quotables, because you’re so into the sample and drum pattern.
Vado: “I’m ‘Dangerous’, I’m ‘Bad’, I’m ‘Off The Wall’ y’all… peace and soul, two fingers to all y’all… love to shop, can’t let go, I’m a mall hog… if I own see ya, I’mma call log who all, y’all…”
Cam: “V1, flava in her ear like Craig Mack (BOYEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!)” ha.
9. “Skit I”.
As previously mentioned, the skits are always good for a laugh or two and this one, while short, still elicits a chortle or two.
Cam bragging as always (although he was on point until he got the Bulls’ dynasty years mixed up ha — Jordan left after the ’93 season and didn’t play in ’94 at all in the NBA), but it’s funny, though. Listen slime:
Cam: “my man Vado, he like Kobe man, the Black Mamba (no homo)…”
SN: Cam’s use of “no homo” is out of hand, but applicable and still hilarious.
10. “Land Of The Dealers”.
If this were a game of “which one of these does not fit?” you’d say this song. The whole vibe is different, the beat is WACK and it wasn’t mastered properly. The beat overshadows how well Vado’s flow went in on this one. Cam did his thing as always, but again, the beat kills it for me.
11. “Fed Story”.
More of the same as “Land Of The Dealers”, just not as bad.
12. “We In This Thing”.
I have NEVER been a fan of that crunk BS, nor will I ever be. I just can’t stand it. Save that for them down south club hoppers. I’m all about lyrics and wild crazy beats. Why on earth Cam did this other than the fact he spent a lot of time in Florida and Atlanta last year — is beyond me.
13. “Blow My High”.
The song that they sample is right on the tip of my tongue, but I can’t call it. I like this song, but the beat sounds cheap. I swear what Araab Muzik does can be done by anyone. He has those Madden fingers (ultra-fast) on the MPC, but his sample choice and the way they sequence the beats leaves a lot to be desired at times. Sometimes his beats can either accentuate or totally kill a song. Cam’ron, Vado and Clips ALL ripped every song they were on throughout this mixtape, but at times the beats totally put me off. This song was another instance of that.
Rating: 2/5 (lyrics being the saving grace).
14. “Skit II”.
Cam just explaining his past, longevity in the game and how unique he is — and sets up “Different Cloth” effectively.
15. “Different Cloth”.
Not my FAVORITE song, but it hits hard. Not many quotables. I like how versatile Vado is. It’s hilarious how he can end up doing what Juelz Santana was supposed to do (and never will) and that’s appeal to a larger audience, while maintaining that edge. Cam’ron long ago said he refused to become a prisoner of his own fame and would not try to be a commercial artist (I wish the non-fans and haters would remember this whenever they say he never has done more than 1.5 million Soundscan or doesn’t have an “all-time classic album”) so I don’t look for anything more than him explaining the mindset of a typical Harlem dude — which he does effectively, as he always has.
Vado isn’t a one-dimensional rapper. If I were to do a comparison of old Dipset to new Dipset/UN, it would go like this:
Cam is Cam
Vado is Juelz pre-2006
Clips is JR Writer (not exactly a good thing as you will read soon, but POTENTIALLY good)
Felony Fame is Hell Rell
Rod Rhaspy is Jim Jones
And since .40 Cal is on one a the tracks, and still my son, there is no comparison needed. I hope .40 still gets a chance to blow, because he is underrated.
Byrd Lady on here. She’s okay, but I haven’t taken a female rapper seriously since Biggie died (if you go back and do album chronologies, it will make sense).
It’s an okay track, nothing great, not bad. Just “okay”.
More of the U.N. using my patented “haaaaaaaaaaa” and their patented “huhhhhhhhh!!!”
17. “Ride With Me”.
This song kind of had that mid-late 90s feel to it. But it also sounds like something that would’ve been on Cam’ron’s 4th album, “Purple Haze”. They proved they can switch it up and speed up the flow a bit. I like the sample, also.
18. “The Baddest”.
WHAT IS THE NAME OF THE SONG THAT THEY SAMPLED??? I hate when I can’t figure it out. I love the hook, and I love how Cam and Vado both refer to Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao in about 4 songs on this mixtape ha. This song is good riding music for this summer.
BTW: More “haaaaaaa” from Vado. Now you see why he’s my son ha?
19. “Skit III”.
Cam giving shouts to all of the project houses throughout Harlem:
140th & Lenox.
142nd aka “Crime Square”.
Polo Grounds (155th).
Lincoln (and all the others in between, Carver, Jefferson, Johnson, King Towers, Taft, Taino, etc.)
Harlem World STAND UP.
20. “Lenox Ave” (Featuring .40 Cal).
I absolutely love this truck. Too many quotables to type. Check the end of the first verse with Vado, and the beginning of the second with Cam’ron.
.40 CAL ABUSED THIS TRACK!!! Please put him on any of the upcoming U.N./Cam’ron solo albums! All of his bars on this track were quotable. WHO CAN SAY THAT???
.40 Cal: “Cause we… live it up… rock jewels, bigger truck… you don’t believe in Harlem World, n—a then Triple Up”…
21. “Arab Music”.
This track was one of my favorites at first, but the beat drove me nuts (in a bad way) after a while. It’s average, nothing more, nothing less.
22. “Skit IV”.
More shouts from Cam between Ohio, Newark, Atlanta, more album promises (we know how those go with Cam).
23. “Soul Plane”.
NASTY. I love the intro to the track, I love the sample, I love the tempo. I can’t even write anything more. Just sit back and get on their wave.
A staple of Cam/Dipset-related projects is the artist talking back to the vocals that were sampled for the song. This song was titled “Stop” and the part of the song (again, the sample escapes me) that was sampled is played almost as if on cue by Charlie Clips.
Clips seems like a battle rapper. Most people don’t want to hear from battle rappers unless they’re genuinely checking for them in a rap battle on the corner, in someone’s basement or something posted on YouTube. Not in a group that is expected to have broader appeal than that which exists in pockets here in New York City and nowhere else. Personally, I like Clips, he has been doing his thing for a while now Uptown, but a lot of cats have yet to hear about him. His bars here are just crazy. I’ll list a few of them. I just hope he doesn’t relegate himself to a punchline rapper like JR Writer did. Writer had explosive ability, but never lived up to it. After 5 years, you’d think he would have evolved instead of regressed, but whatever, we’re talking about Clips.
The song’s intro is uptempo and I absolutely love when they sample these 60s/70s era soul songs.
… you better stop, before you tear me all apart… you better STOP…
Clips: “‘STOP’ HUHHHHHHHHHHHH!!! — that’s what they tell you when you rappin’… ‘STOP’ — that’s what the fiends beggin’ you when you be trappin’… ‘STOP’ — that’s what the girls say when you go to smash it…”
Clips: “I’m so hot wit it… you are so NOT wit it… I’m so Bentley, so Porsche, so drop wit it… I’m so Big, so Pun, so Pac wit it… I’m so Big, so L, so Scott La Rock wit it… I rock that boat like Aaliyah, and Jam Master Jay, my feet could be adidas… squeeze on them heaters and you better hold your vest high, cause his head shot when I close that Left EYEEEEEEEEEEEEE…”
OVERALL RATING: 4.25/5.