Cam’ron has spent most of the three years since his last album beefing with hip-hop heavyweights like Jay-Z, 50 Cent, and Jim Jones. That may explain why Crime Pays sounds so dated. Since he’s pretty much excluded from rap’s elite clubhouse these days, maybe he didn’t get the memo that gangsta themes, sex rhymes, painfully unfunny skits, and filling nearly every minute of a CD is so 2002. The Harlem rapper still has a commanding flow, but when it’s applied to worn-out cuts like “Who” (all about Cam making money) and “You Know What’s Up” (all about Cam “fucking bitches”), it hardly matters. It doesn’t help that many of the beats are as stale as Cam’s rhymes. There’s one bright spot: “My Job,” a timely discourse on dead-end nine-to-fives. Maybe he owns a calendar after all.
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