Music is a single-driven marketplace right now, and K Camp, who's become known for infectious hooks and catchy R&B tinged melodies, has certainly reaped the benefits with songs like “Turn Up For A Check” and of course the 2 Chainz-assisted “Cut Her Off.”
For Camp however, his major label debut Only Way Is Up, due to drop later this year on Interscope, is not just about numbers. It’s also about proving to the casual fans that only know him for being nice on the refrain, that his plans for success are long term.
“My expectation of course [for the album] is to go number one, but also it’s for folks to wake the hell up, realize what the hell’s going on and stop sleeping on my s**t,” Camp told BET.com in an exclusive interview. “I’m here to stay. I’m the real deal and they’re gonna find out when the album drops.”
In addition to his recent selection to XXL's coveted 'Freshman Class," the "Money Baby" rapper has already teamed up with some of industry’s more prominent figures from Lil Wayne to Juicy J and Yo Gotti, but he says there’s a surprise collaboration on the album that was the true indicator in his mind that he made it.
“I don’t know what my biggest moment is yet. Like, when I do something big, I don’t even think about it too much I just keep it moving,” Camp said. “But like three, four years ago I said to my people ‘If I get this artist on any of my songs, I know I’ve made it,’ and this album I got that artist on there. ... I’m not gonna tell, but you’ll know,” he added, laughing.
After the success of 2013's “Cut Her Off,” K Camp’s fame shot well beyond Fulton County, but though it may look like a rapid rise to an outsider, Kristopher Campbell says his ascension, like any, just took some serious grassroots promoting and hard work.
“For me the key to blowing up outside of Atlanta was really just keeping my face card good and just grinding,” Camp recalled. “You gotta stay in these streets working, keeping that connection with the DJs and the people. Everybody out here who got say so over who breaks in Atlanta, you gotta know. That’s really how it works. It’s a lot of footwork.”
Hip hop has always been different from other genres and other businesses. Success requires a knack for trends and a sense of what's going to sell to the younger audience, but for K Camp, the lessons and the lumps that he’s taken are applicable to any young hustler that’s pursuing something that he or she believes in.
“On my journey I learned that everybody ain’t gonna tell you, 'Yeah.' On this road you’re gonna hear a lot of f*****g ‘No’s’ and if you let the ‘no’s’ break down your whole campaign and what you’re working for, then you’re done,” Camp revealed, emphasizing that not even attention comes free in this game. “You gotta keep striving, keep busting these folks in the head. When they don’t wanna listen, make ‘em listen. They say ‘no’ keep going and make ‘em say ‘yeah,’ make them feel your s**t so they can understand where you’re coming from.”
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(Photo: Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images)
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