Cam'Ron

'I Hate My Job' dir. Alan Smithee

In the world of hip-hop, where big egos are as common as sampled beats, Cameron “Cam’ron” Giles remains a shining beacon of arrogance in pastel paisley and a candy-colored Escalade. Still, it’s been over three years since the swaggering MC scored a mainstream hit, and a newfound modesty is on display in the video for his latest single, “I Hate My Job.” “Ain’t no money for no shoes or purses here,” Cam’ron raps about his meager paycheck. This presumably leaves little to no money for video production—it’s possible that the entire thing was recorded on a Handycam.

A raucous piano riff kicks off a dull workday, narrated through the eyes of Cam’ron’s girlfriend with an almost Biz Markie-esque realism. The flashy whips and mansions have been traded for a mid-size sedan and cubicle, and with mounting bills to pay, “things are getting hectic.” Reclining in a canvas butterfly chair on a weedy hillside, Cam’ron knowingly details the trials and tribulations of “everyday working women”: early morning traffic jams, short lunch breaks, and lighting up in the parking lot.

By the second verse, it seems the cocky kid who once called Jay-Z a “camel face” has had his share of humble pie. “I put on my pants, put on my shoes,” continues our detail-oriented narrator as he sets out on a job hunt, dressed for success in a black skull cap and puffer vest. For a man accustomed to rocking pink and purple furs, this ensemble is downright conservative, but his interviewers disagree. “You know we’re not hiring murderers, right?” one of them asks, following up with questions about his criminal record. “I’m working on my future, why you need to know my history?” Cam retorts, but to no avail. Heading home empty-handed, the day only gets worse when he finds out his “baby mom’s done changed locks.” Jobless, broke, and unlucky in love, our defeated hero sadly concludes, “Seems like I was born to lose,” leaving us to wonder how he’ll manage to keep his profession as a rapper, let alone an office job.

—Roxanne J. Fequiere