The Lesson from Uncle Luke

Luther “Uncle Luke” Campbell is the most under appreciated pioneer in hip-hop, ever! It didn’t really sink in until listening to him speak last night. I never realized that in nearly 30 years, Uncle Luke has never won anything to reflect his undeniable contribution to the hip-hop culture. It made me look at myself and I realized a valuable lesson.

No matter how good, bad or innovative you are, you may never get the true credit you deserve from the world. You could spend your prime years doing what you do, like no one else and never get the respect you truly have earned. That’s why it’s important to do what you love for the validation of you. Be the success you want to be and then help as many people as you can around you. That’s the greater reward. Being a creator of success for others.

When people speak of the south, they always name Scarface/Geto Boys, T.I, Master P and even Outkast when they talk about Kings, Legends and Pioneers of Southern Hip-Hop. Uncle Luke and 2 Live Crew were battling the Supreme Court over Freedom of Speech before any of them had a hit single or record deal. Much like today Colin Kaepernick is the pioneer of his time for expressing free speech and freedom to protest as a pro athlete. He’s not the greatest QB ever. He’s never won a Super Bowl, but his social and cultural impact is undeniable. They try to discredit and undermine his purpose and message, but it’s no denying the realness of the issues he speaks of if you just stop and make yourself aware of the world you live in.

Uncle Luke may not be a world renown and revered pioneer, but in his city and state, he is an undisputed well respected legend. The man who wanted nothing more than to be respected in hip-hop turned around and gave love and opportunity to his community. From the Miami Hurricanes athletes, to his own youth league. From Pitbull to Khaled, Trick Daddy and Rick Ross. No one of the hip-hop culture has become a success out of Miami without the love and assistance of Uncle Luke. That’s the true mark of never being a “hater” and really wanting everyone around you to win. There aren’t many people like Uncle Luke in the world, let alone hip-hop.

The principles that Uncle Luke have are definitely ones that every man and woman should live by. Be you, do you, get yours and give back. Help the next man or woman to be as great as you if not greater. Be a leader in your community. Help and encourage the youth. Don’t be fueled by accolades and acknowledgements. Understand the respect of the people is all you will ever need because they are the true mark of a great legacy. How does a pioneer of that character not get the respect he deserves? Respect to Uncle Luke.

Rap Superstars Need To Attack Trump Like Eminem

For years I’ve heard how Eminem doesn’t rap about anything and how his content is “just not for me”, but the reality is, Eminem has been very critical of White America and politicians since The Marshall Mathers LP. All this information is available on Google and on your favorite streaming service, if you want to hear it to a beat, so lets talk last night.

Eminem verbally ripping Donald Trump on BET sent me through a range of emotions. First emotion was joy cause I love hearing Eminem rap about anything. He’s still the greatest rhymer of words, ever. Dr Seuss had to step aside after “The Eminem Show”. Sorry. Second emotion was shock. Shock because even I expected more “Slim Shady-esque” bars in his cypher, but once he got rolling he kept it all venomous business. The third emotion was unfortunately disappointment.

My disappointment was for this reason. We need all the rap superstars of today to go in like that. We need the 90’s legends that are still putting out music to get on this too. The superstars will help the future of the culture get more light. YG and Nipsey Hussle should have had a diamond single with “Fuck Donald Trump”. Joey Bada$$ album “All Amerikkkan Badass” should be front runner for album of the year with 5 million sold/streamed because of his content reflecting the time we live in. T.I’s “US or Else” needed way more support and although dated, David Banner’s “The God Box” should be at least double platinum. If hip-hop is truly as mad as we look on social media about the world today, that’s where the culture should be shifting.

How is the culture and music that produced direct shots like “Motherf**k him and John Wayne” “F**k Bush” now resulting to “Agent Orange” as a way to take a stand? Sorry, that’s pathetic. No other rapper with access to a platform like Eminem has taken it upon themselves to speak on Donald Trump, society or the state of the world since inauguration day. I don’t mean speak like Twitter war. I don’t mean speak like yelling “Fuck Donald Trump” at a concert. I mean speak like songs that stay on topic. I mean rapping in depth like Eminem. The white rapper, who’s consistent knock from his critics is “he topics are dated” just ripped Donald Trump for everything he’s done from Campaign to the Nevada shooting in 4 minutes. Color has nothing to do with it overall, but here’s my issue. The black delegation will constantly criticize Eminem and Macklemore, but our black superstars remain recluse when we need to hear from them most. I don’t want them to run for office. I want them to rap!

We love to big up Kendrick, Cole, Kanye and say how “they saying something” but what have they directly said about society today? I say those names specifically because these are supposed to be the guys with “the classic albums”. These are the guys “speaking for us”. Even though time and time I’ve said, “They rapping they ass off, but what’s so “deep” about the content?”

As a fan of hip-hop I know that no rapper has to speak for me nor do I expect them to. However, I’m not going to sit here and not see the game for what it is. Hip-Hop is under attack. That means black culture is under attack. Today’s rapper is so scared to lose money, fans and make people upset that they now just don’t say anything or shoot subliminal shots. That’s not the hip-hop I grew up on. The hip-hop I grew up on wouldn’t give Donald Trump a nickname and half a bar or a disguised social media rant. I understand making a living. I understand the fear of losing it all and having a family to provide for. What I don’t understand is not using the principles that hip-hop culture was built on.

As a hip-hop community we are so quick to call every song and project classic and every artist with rhyming ability great when they aren’t even producing music that is reflecting the time we live in. Don’t get it confused. The content is out there. I’m saying it’s not there from the artist getting the most praise in the game for content right now.

I hope Eminem’s one man cypher gives hip-hop more courage. I’m dying to fall in love with hip-hop all over again. I also plan to do my part as a person in the culture. I’ve already started with my “Here’s What I Think About You…” piece on the composition section of this site. Fist Up Hip-Hop! We got work to do!

Motivational Tools…

I can’t go back to The Port again
Nah, that’s just where the story began
Although I pit stopped
Lost a lot
Had to think and regroup
Get focused for more
Reconnect and then understand my roots
I can’t return…

That was just a breeding ground
The cool story to promote
When they see where I am now
It’s not a destiny
Only a destination
A place to give back
And put on the map to our nation

I can’t sleep in grandma’s car again
I can’t not eat but once and win
I can’t see 3 digits in my account with a decimal
Can’t just survive like and animal
Because I want to live

I don’t want to choose bills or lunch
Cause the partial payment still ain’t enough
Don’t want to feel weak
I don’t want to feel full from crumbs
Live check to check like its really fun
Stuck in the house for weeks

I miss work cause I can’t afford to go
Not sure if I’m losing weight
Cause exercise or I’m broke
Planned a family outing, 80 dollars to my name
Grabbed change out the jar
For 8 dollars in the tank
But it was worth it for a hug
And a smile on her face
Too harden to cry
So it’s pain in my face
I cherish every moment
Hate for anything to waste
Try to remain in high faith
Till God’s light hits my place

Nah, I won’t get repoed
I won’t see another delinquent note
They’ll be no more past due
I’ve sacrificed and did what’s asked to do
Now it’s my world, time and rules…

These are my tools…

Thoughts Before Therapy

I was just watching “The Therapist”. It’s a Viceland program and the conversations are groundbreaking. As I sit here and listen to the program, it made me think of myself and some of my thoughts and feelings.

I thought of myself and how maybe I dream so big and so much because some people laughed, didn’t believe or couldn’t see my visions. How some people I call friends have downplayed my ideas and successes or given backhanded congrats or acknowledgements and how that truly affected me. It may also be why I only like abstract and broad thinkers around me and how I will always find a way something could potentially work and is justifiable.

I’m sitting here taking inventory with my relationship with my mom. Understanding why we clash so much. Understanding that maybe the one thing that neither one of us wanted was for me to be like her or my dad. However, the deeper situation is how receptive was she as I was growing and maturing to being exactly what she wanted and in some ways how she stunted that early evolution.

Thinking of my problems with women and how the only woman in my life I’ll ever show weakness to is my grandma. Coincidentally, I feel my grandma is the only woman that has ever listened to me and understood me. However, she’s also the only woman who has never used my words or weaknesses against me. Nothing is tougher to deal with to a man with morals, ethics and principles than a woman who is willing to frivolously play with your words and weaknesses. I don’t know if there will ever be a woman I can talk to like I talk to my grandma.

The one woman who will have my heart forever is my daughter. My lifesaver, my star. I look in her face and see something so much greater than me. My biggest fears are not nurturing her uncanny potential and letting her down to the point that she hates me.

I also sit here and I have this feeling and thought that not so deep down, I am a lover. A natural lover of all people and things. However, I’ve experienced too many situations where that love has been disregarded and it has scarred me in a few ways. I also feel that many have gone out of their way to show me they don’t love me back. It’s probably why I love being alone and practice keeping to myself. Why maybe I am the shyest social butterfly you will ever meet. Why quite a few relationships are strained. Why I don’t apologize often and regret a handful of times that I have apologized. I like to give, help and love. It’s really who I would want to be at my core everyday to everyone. The problem is the people that I have given, helped and loved have taken, broken and abandoned me. I want to ask some people, “Where were you when I needed you most?” to finally get answers.

I’ve been saying for quite a while that I do need therapy. I really need to get the right resources together to take a few steps forward in doing that.

No Force, No Rush

It’s been a strenuous few days. I’ve been trying to get as many hours as I can at work between two venues and it’s been draining. It’s also costing me more money than it’s making on the weeks I don’t get paid. I try not to focus on that, because I know that energy causes anxiety. I’m also in process of locking down another great opportunity which I hope to share later.

I haven’t been in the gym working out, but the workout I’ve been getting doing this venue tear down has been crazy! All the lifting, pushing, pulling and stacking had me feeling as sore as my first couple weeks back lifting weights.

I finally got time for a family day. Something that I hardly ever get a chance to do. It was great! So great that I want to document the story in a better way than casually in this blog post.

There hasn’t been new content on here and I apologize for that. I needed physical and mental rest. My body was telling me “Alright Cam. Time to pack it in for a min.” So I’m taking time for myself, so I can rest and get my wheels back turning so I can give you all my best with this pen or these keys. I don’t want to just put out anything. I want to show nothing but quality cause I take my writing seriously. I have many ideas and concepts. It’s all about making them sound cool enough to visualize with your mind. Talk soon.

What Up, Big Camp!?

What Up, Big Camp!? A phrase and question that is synonymous with my presence when I touch down in my hometown, Freeport, Illinois. I got the name from a man I used to call my favorite uncle. I was told from the day I was born he gave me the nickname “Big Camp” and the family just rocked with it. “Let’s call him Big Camp!” was what he told my mom as I was fresh out the womb. Before I left the hospital I was branded with a nickname that is used to this day. How he came up with it I really don’t know, but it does combine my name first and last name in some way.

My whole McGee family knows me as Camp. Mom, Grandma, Aunties, cousins, everybody calls me “Camp”. It’s just the way it is. In Freeport, you either call me “Camp” or “Cameron”. None of my stage names in music or media have ever stuck back home, lol! I laugh cause I literally have had the hardest time branding myself under one name to be recognized by. I’m called “Killa Cam” more than I’ve been called CamQuotes, Shoohstopugh, The Captain or even Cam at home. It’s hilarious because apparently the branding I always needed, I was born with and just never used it outside of my hometown. I answer to the name “Camp”, so it’s not that I don’t like it. I just never went out of my way to use it or introduce myself as “Camp” to anyone. I remember coming home from College and my mom and I had a conversation on what I go by as far as name is concerned.

She said, “Well you’re a grown man now. I guess it’s no more “Camp”
I said, “I never really thought about it. My friends at school call me Cam”
She said, “So we dropping the P and it’s just Cam now?”
I said, “Whatever works. It doesn’t really matter to me.”

I’ve been thinking all day about going as “Big Camp” as I return to the wild world of radio. I think it’s only right I do. It’s my piece of Freeport that will always be with me. It’s a family name. It’s part of the story of growing up as me. Big Camp is uncommon, standing out and something anyone can say and sound cool. I’m also on a short list of people who would have “Big” in their name and actually be what many consider “Big”, ha! I’m sure I’ll figure it out by the time I get back on Social media. Let’s officially get back into Media first.