Cam Meekins comes to this week’s Spotlight with his own light, Lamp City Records. His Lamp City Family helped this young leader get his newest album, 1993 Vol.2 onto Billboard Hip Hop Charts. Let’s take a look at how he made this happen…
In this post I will share a quick background on Cam Meekins. Then I’ll analyze his success and share the Gold Standard of Self Expression, which you can apply to your own personal journey. Lastly, I’ll introduce you to three of his tracks.
Who knows? Maybe he will inspire you to hit the Billboard Charts…
Background on Cam Meekins
I first met Cam in Boston, where I went to college. Between BU Hip Hop and 12for12, we ran in similar circles. Watching Cam go about his artistry has taught me a lot.
Cam is a Massachusetts native. He came into the game at a young age. After a jetski accident, 15 year-old Cam plotted with producer, Matty Trump.
Between basketball, school, and selling weed, Cam determined to build a rap career.
In the 6 years from then, Cam has come a long way. The high school ball captain turned rapper’s stats are impressive:
- Over 100,000 downloads on Datpiff
- Over 6,000,000 YouTube views
- Over 42,000 Facebook Fans
- Over 27,000 Twitter Followers
- Best New Artist at 2012 Boston Music Awards
- 1 on Billboard’s Real Time Charts for Hater Music Video
He even signed a deal with a major label, although he hated it.
Now, Cam runs his own music career as a business, Lamp City, LLC. CEO of his independent record label, Cam debuted his recent album, 1993 vol. 2 at #43 on Billboard Hip Hop Charts.
His story offers another reason to do it on your own.
Cam accomplished this all by staying gold like Ponyboy.
Gold Standard of Self Expression
Authenticity X Audience = Value of Self Expression
Few things have as much importance as authenticity, especially when it comes to the millennial audience. We recognize commercialized media skews reality. People and brands try too hard either to fit in or to stand out.
As a result, we often must be quick to spot phonies, fools gold.
Because so many phonies exist, authenticity holds great value.
Cam expresses his value for authenticity on his new album.
I keep it real and stay in my lane
I’m on the train with the rest of society
I hear your raps and I know that you lie to me
I know you are not shit cause I met you
Just keep it real and then I’ll respect you
-Cam Meekins, Oh Word?
If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.
Determine who your audience is.
Where are they from? What age group are they? What do they like? What are their challenges?
Take all that information and…
RELATE TO YOUR AUDIENCE
Cam recognizes that his core audience is between high school, college, and working life. He talks to them in their own terms.
The power to talk in the audience’s terms stems from being a member of this audience. To be a great performer, you must know how it feels to be an audience member.
In the following verse, Cam illustrates my point.
Started smoking weed so I thought about my life man
And what it all comes down to in the end
Is the little things you do and the stupid shit with friends
I’m plotting my revenge on these stupid ass teachers
Cause I ball in the game and they sitting on the bleachers
Can you hear me now hollering my raps to your students?
Wasn’t my choice man I really had to do this
– Cam Meekins, Slow Down
3 Pieces of Art to Get You Started
Hater made Billboard #1 Real-time Charts! While Cam hates catchy jingles , he ironically does so over this exact type of track. I think this is Cam recognizing our simultaneous, opposing cravings for both the unusual and the familiar.
Lamp City Family
I checked Cam and the Lamp City Family into the Revere Hotel, where this was shot. I even make a quick cameo in the beginning. I love this song, and Cam skillfully captures and appreciates his audience with it.
When it comes to authenticity, Cam leaves his all on this track. The beat is simple, letting the words add the depth. He expresses self doubts and vulnerabilities, not an easy feat in the macho world of hip hop.