It’s speculative beef time: The rarely punctual, always dope Kanye West released “Looking for Trouble,” his latest G.O.O.D. Friday track, early Sunday morning, and Vulture thinks there’s a tiny chance it’s a vague response to the resurgent Cam’ron. Okay, here comes some hip-hop minutiae!
If you may recall, Cam’ron and Jim Jones went after ‘Ye for his allegedly shady dealing with their mutual friend Dame Dash earlier this year, and it was widely ignored as the failed attention-grabbing stunt that it was. Funkmaster Flex brought it up on Hot 97 the other day, and Kanye graciously swatted it away, saying he loves Cam’s and Jones’s music and that they’re entitled to call him out if they are so inclined. (He was also asked if he would be responding to them during his most recent Ustream chat, and more or less ignored the question completely.) It seemed like Kanye was following the Jay-Z mentality for the Art of Beef, where one exudes superiority not by engaging in combat but by winkingly ignoring said combat altogether.
But then we got “Looking for Trouble.” Along with verses from Pusha, Cyhi, Big Sean, and J. Cole, the jam features a sample of Steel Pulse’s “Blue Dance Raid” — the same song sampled on Cam’ron’s 2004 track “Bubble Music.” On Kanye’s version, the sample pipes in with “not looking for trouble,” and various participants take turns saying something along the lines of “but now you got it.” That’s appropriately threatening! Also: On his original Kanye dis, Cam’ron used the “Runaway” beat — so is flipping one of Cam’s samples Kanye’s way of acknowledging the situation without blowing it up?
Then again: His verse avoids all shit-talking in favor of confusing raunchiness (“I’ll have your face looking all Captain Crunch-y”?). But then again once again, Kanye is definitely aware that Cam used the same sample: He has a feature on Purple Haze, the album that “Bubble Music” is from. Is that too much for this to be coincidental?
“Looking for Trouble”