It's been a busy spring for Cam'ron. In March, he released his long-awaited Vanessa Carlton interpolation "10,000 Miles." More recently, he shared with Noisey that he's been in the process of recording two albums and writing a tie-in movie. But he's also been in the national conversation for another reason. In April, when Fox News got rid of host Bill O'Reilly, the internet wasted no time in reliving the pundit's many shameful incidents, from the transcript about pleasuring a woman with a falafel to his Inside Edition "We'll do it live!" meltdown. And perhaps the most popular moment of all was Cam's O'Reilly Factor interview from 2003.
That TV appearance, in which Cam and his then-label boss Damon Dash went on air to talk about the impact of hip-hop on America's youth, spawned two of the biggest rap memes of all time—"You Mad" and "I got dirt on you doggy"—and instantly went down in history as one of the best moments ever in cable news. Watch the whole thing; it will forever be priceless to watch Cam lecture his critics on the importance of holding parent-teacher conferences, among other nuggets of wisdom.
This year, after a New York Times article revealed that Fox News had quietly paid $13 million in settlements across five different sexual harassment suits against O'Reilly, advertisers began to pull out of his show en masse, leading the network to cut ties. Suddenly, both Cam'ron memes felt oddly prescient: There was dirt on O'Reilly, and he was mad. Naturally, we at Noisey wanted to know what the official Diplomatic response to the incident might be. So last week, when I got Cam on the phone to talk about his new music, I also asked how he felt about O'Reilly's firing.
"I guess Fox really got tired of him," he mused. "It wasn't just me. It was a bunch of people he was rude to, on the borderline of being racist without necessarily being racist. Like even when he's up there [like] 'look at the way he dress'—what does that mean? He does a lot of stuff that [is] borderline racist, to me." Cam also shed some light on how the original interview had gone down and whether he had in fact had dirt on O'Reilly.
"As far as all of the sexual allegations—before I went up there, what I did was my publicist had told me about a lot of that stuff, but instead of being serious with him, we had so much fun clowning him that it just turned into a roast session and we just started laughing at him," he recalled. "I had a good time when I did it because I didn't really know the background of him at that particular time. Like I said, I probably was prepped an hour before I went to the show. It was more funny than anything else. But you know, sexual assault really isn't funny, so if he really did those things, then it's good that Fox got rid of him."
Finally, Cam said people immediately started sending him "You mad??" memes when the news broke. He added that if you are into the meme, "we actually sell those T-shirts online now with dipsetusa.com, my website." Still, he downplayed his own role, even if many fans are happy to revel in the idea that there was a Cam-nary in the coal mine all along. After all, that interview has forever made Cam the positive foil to O'Reilly's negativity, which, if we're being honest, is a hell of a legacy.
"People act like I stirred the pot to get that going, but to me I didn't really give it that much thought when I was doing the O'Reilly show," Cam said. "It wasn't something that I thought would legendary or be carried on seven or eight, nine years later—however long it's been—but I'm glad that it did."
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