Cam’ron’s “Come Home With Me” Turns 21

One of the most monumental hip hop albums of the 2000s, Cam’ron’s “Come Home With Me” turns 21.

BYWyatt Westlake
Cam’ron’s “Come Home With Me” Turns 21

This year marks the 21st anniversary of Cam’ron’s third album, Come Home With Me. The album was released on May 14, 2002. Though it was not his first successful album, Come Home With Me is easily Cam’ron’s most monumental album in terms of rapping, production, and success. The album signified an era not only for Cam’ron and The Diplomats but for hip hop in the 2000s. More specifically, New York Street Rap was on top at the time. Cam’ron’s third album is full of classic songs that have stood the test of time. Here is a look back at the album for its anniversary.

A Prime Era For Street Rap

Cam’ron’s first two albums, Confessions of Fire and S.D.E. were released through Epic Records. Cam’s third album, on the other hand, was released through Def Jam, JAY-Z’s Roc–A–Fella Records, and Cam’ron’s own Diplomat Records. The album being released under another major label that was closely associated with hip hop, as well as his own imprint and partnership with JAY-Z was the recipe for a classic. In the early 2000s, Def Jam had been in one of its most prominent runs, releasing high-profile albums from the likes of Ludacris, DMX, Ja Rule, and Ashanti. Come Home With Me was yet another prolific release in Def Jam’s arsenal, especially in a slew of many New York rap releases. Come Home With Me was also crucial for the development of Roc-A-Fella Records. 

Until Cam’ron’s third album, Roc-A-Fella had only released albums from JAY-Z and the other artists on the label. They had not yet partnered with pre-established artists. Come Home With Me helped build the careers of Cam’ron and Dipset and Roc-A-Fella and JAY-Z’s business careers. After Come Home With Me, Roc-A-Fella was an unstoppable force in hip hop and grew to even larger heights once they expanded beyond their own group. 

Come Home With Me Helped Put Dipset On

Cam’ron’s first album, Confessions of Fire did not feature any features from Dipset members. His second album, S.D.E. consisted of six Dipset features. The third album featured ten looks from Dipset members. The album’s most popular songs featured Juelz Santana, Jim Jones, Freekey Zeekey, or a combination of different Dipset members.

Come Home With Me helped build The Diplomats as a group and brand. The album laid the foundation for Dipset’s takeover of hip hop in the 2000s. The momentum started by this album catapulted them to the top, with their Diplomatic Immunity album being released the following year, going down as one of hip hop’s best double albums. Come Home With Me helped introduce the hit-making power of Cam'ron and The Diplomats, leading to many classic records. 

Classics On Classics

Come Home With Me consists of most of Cam’ron’s best and classic songs. The historic third album starts with an intro from DJ Kay Slay, an essential stamp of approval during Slay’s run as one of hip hop’s most well-respected DJs. Most notably, the album features songs like “Oh Boy” and “Hey Ma,” certified hip hop classics. 

“Oh Boy” is one of Cam’ron’s biggest hits, featuring a bouncy yet soulful instrumental from Just Blaze. The megaproducer was creating nonstop classic songs at the time. Cam’ron cleverly incorporates the vocal sample of Rose Royce’s “I’m Going Down” into his verses, making different uses for the word “boy.” That same year, Mariah Carey remixed “Oh Boy” for a song called “Boy (I Need You).” Another major hit on Come Home With Me that was even bigger than “Oh Boy” was the irresistible “Hey Ma.” Even more than “Oh Boy,” “Hey Ma” appealed to a broad audience, which is one of the main reasons it is still Cam’ron’s biggest song.  

On top of the hit records, Come Home With Me was the epitome of the state of New York hip hop at the time. The production was polished but consisted of rugged street raps and inspirational success stories. Cam, alongside Daz Dillinger, spits over 2Pac’s “Ambitionz Az A Ridah” on “Live My Life.” The album’s title track is a career highlight for Cam’ron, Juelz Santana, and Jim Jones as the three spit their best verses. The song’s cinematic production and vivid imagery in the verses make for one of the album’s best tracks. Songs like “I Just Wanna” and “Boy Boy” consist of anthemic production and energetic verses. Dipset’s Roc-A-Fella connection is evident as JAY-Z joins Cam’ron and Juelz Santana for the Just Blaze-produced “Welcome To New York City.” Also, Memphis Bleek and Beanie Sigel spit hard verses for “The Roc.”

Cam'ron's Biggest Album To Date

Cam’ron’s third album remains his biggest album to date, with its hit songs performing well on charts and achieving certifications from the RIAA. Come Home With Me sold 226,000 copies during its first week, peaking at No. 2 on the Billboard 200. Furthermore, the album soared to No. 1 on Billboard’s Top R&B/Hip Hop Albums chart. By the end of the year, the album achieved Platinum status. The album was also certified silver in the UK and performed well in Canada. “Hey Ma," still Cam’ron’s biggest single, was certified Platinum in 2018. 


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