CAM'RON at the Danforth Music Hall, Saturday, August 16. Rating: NNNN
In the run up to Cam'ron's nine-date Canadian tour, fans around the country were talking in cautiously optimistic terms on social media about whether or not the elusive star would make it across the border. So when the 37-year-old New York emcee took the stage on Saturday night, the crowd of 700-or-so cheered with palpable disbelief.
Emerging to the strains of Killa Cam, the rapper had the poise of a returning emperor. Though much of his body and face were obscured by his hat, dark sunglasses and Diplomats branded sweatshirt, his opening-song gusto was evident thanks to the visibly popping veins in his neck, which remained bulging throughout the show, even after he ditched the sweatshirt.
Cam's set list spanned his discography: hits like Hey Ma, his verse from Oh Boy, harder-edged deep cuts like I Used To Get It In Ohio and his verse from Bout It Bout It demonstrated the strength of his catalog, and satisfied each pocket of the broad swath of fans in the venue.
Cam also knew when to ham it up, without betraying his tough-guy and confidently detached persona: at one point, a woman tossed her underwear onstage and Cam caught them mid-song, only missing a couple beats while he conveyed his incredulity at the moment and his timing.
The performance clocked in at around 45 minutes, leaving some fans clamouring for more. Still, it was clear that the diehards who've followed Cam'ron's career through its dips and recent reemergence left satiated. He closed out with Dipshits, a recent A-Trak and Just Blaze-assisted song with the triumphant bounce of his mid-aughts classics. The choice was fitting - illuminating Cam's ability to modernize without compromising the sound he's spent his career building.