Independent Artist and Songwriter Cam Carter Keeps It Real with His Lyrics
Independent hip-hop artist, Cam Carter, has been nicknamed the, “White Wayne,” for his level of lyricism. He considers himself a poet because of his large range of vocabulary and his ability to see from multiple life perspectives. Not only is he a man of many words, but also has a heavy social media presence. Ironically, the artist is not a fan of social media due to people becoming famous for the wrong reasons and not off of pure talent.
Find out more about Cam Carter as a person and artist below!
What inspired your artist name? Where did you get it from?
It’s an abbreviation of my name. My mom and dad named me Matthew Cameron Carter and I remember her telling me that “Cam Carter” would sound like a badass nascar driver. I want people to know me for me. It has alliteration so it rolls off of the tongue and is easy to remember. Cam Carter-That is me. Remember it. I’m coming.
Where were you born and raised?
I was born and raised in Memphis, Tennessee. In 1996, I moved to Hernando, Mississippi to live with my dad. Before I was of age to associate with gangs and other stuff in the neighborhood, he took custody of me and put me in a better school system so I was in a better position to go to college. In Memphis, I was the sole witness to a few different shootings. My mom showed me a news clip of reporters interviewing what used to be our next door neighbor. My best friend at the time had shot and killed a bunch of people, and they were talking to his dad about it. It shocked me, but at the same time I wasn’t surprised in the least. That could have been me. I could have went down the same paths, but I had another purpose to fulfill. My mother came from a rich family, and my father from a lower middle class family. Having had experience growing up in the city and the country gave me a lot of perspective in my upbringing, and I wouldn’t have changed anything about my childhood. I learned a lot about people and I have a lot of love for Memphis and North Mississippi. The culture and history is unlike any another place. Not only is it a place full of music, it is the cornerstone of the civil rights movement. I appreciate where I am from because it made me become who I am today.
Where do you currently live and why?
I currently live in Los Angeles, California, because life is too short to have, “what ifs,” circling through my head. Nobody will take me serious until I take myself serious.
What music genre would you put yourself under?
My primary genre is hip hop. However, I am a song writer first and I don’t let a genre barrier hold me back from writing anything that I feel in the particular moment. I like to capture energy and utilize my ghosts and channel it into a story that paints a picture of whatever it is I see. God has granted me the power of discernment and that definitely helps me be more valuable as a songwriter because I can jump into perspectives that most people can’t. Hip Hop is much more lyric based so I gravitate towards it more because I’m a poet with a large vocabulary. I like how I can break rules and change the pronunciation of words to make them better rhyme. Also I have a southern accent and that helps me swag out certain words. Some rappers have the tendency to A-B-C their flow, and that’s cool in some instances because having a dumbed down flow helps fans sing along and understand the simple annotations. I like to teach people new words in my music and use internal rhymes and a lot of poetic techniques to strengthen the quality of lyrics.
How would you describe your sound? Who inspires it?
Muddy and wet. I don’t want to compare myself to anyone but myself. But if I were to force a reference, I’d humbly say I’m Juicy J, 2 Pac, Kayne West and Lil Wayne mixed into a bowl with a splash of Paul McCartney. I have been compared to Lil Wayne a lot from strangers and some of my friends. He is one of the best lyricist of all time and he is one of my biggest influences so if anything I say reminds you of him, that’s probably why. Some fans nicknamed me the “White Wayne” which is hilarious to me. Lil Wayne is also one of the few artists that grew up in the business and completely changed pop culture. I respect him more than any hip hop artist. He [Juicy J] is super smart and I’ve always looked up to him as an artist. Three Six Mafia is who originally inspired me to pick up my pen in the first place. 2 Pac is arguably the greatest hip hop artist of all time and what he stood for was empowering people, not taking no for an answer, and rallying the troops. Most people have a hard time understanding Kayne, and that is why he is an absolute genius. The ways he presents himself… I believe he knew how he was going to flip his career since day one.
When did you start pursuing music seriously? Why?
I started writing music in middle school. I didn’t go to a professional recording studio until I met Kingpin Skinny Pimp at his house in East Memphis in 2009. At his house, I met one of my best friends Phillip “Big Phil” Hudson, a sound engineer in Memphis that has a credit list that’s on a different level. He recorded my first songs “Jumanji” and “No More” in South Memphis and he helped build some of the best studios in that area. I became friends with other artists such as Teflon Don, Dre Fargo, Frayser Boy, Popalock, Gangsta Blac, Tom Skeemask, Tommy Wright III, DJ Spanish Fly, Miscellaneous, Alex Webster, and Yo Lynch. I didn’t just meet them. I built relationships with them, slept at their homes, and was treated like I was a part of their family. I learned that you can be what you want to be if you just keep it real with yourself. And that’s a major part of doing music. It took a long time before I gained the confidence to pursue what I am doing now. Memphis is a city that takes 100 people to eat a bag of chips. It’s hard to shine there because when you do, you’re killed or setup. It’s a city full of hatred and envy, and only respects one thing: hustle. Everyone watches your every move, anticipating a time you’re slipping to either rob you or take you out of the picture. Memphis dwellers are from the some of most dangerous streets in America. And I hope to one day be able to give back and influence a new breed of thinkers with and through my music. I mentioned before, I didn’t take music seriously until my mom died in 2014. I almost gave up on my own life. It was music that saved my life.
Who is your motivation?
I would never be anywhere close to where I am now or done any of my accomplishments without having a great mom and dad. As I mentioned, my mother died… but she lives through me now. All of those memories and holidays are in me now, and it is up to me to carry them on to my kids when I become a father. My mom is my engine and my dad is my gas. I have a song dedicated to my mother Bonnie called “On My Momma’s Heart” that is unreleased. I used to call her phone just to hear her voice on the voicemail. There were so many questions I never got to ask her, so now she is my motivation to be a better man. My dad on the other hand is the best man I’ve ever known. He saved me from so many situations, bailed me out of jail constantly, but never stopped loving me. It took all my life to earn his support of me doing music and I am proud to say that I recorded a pop song called “For the Sake of the Show” and he started to see my potential. That makes me very happy and now lifts another weight off my shoulder.
What impact are you looking to make with your music?
A world tour, earning plaques and recognition as a song writer and recording artist, landing spots on the Billboard charts, earning a Grammy… [to] be in a better position to help talented artists that would never reach the next level due to lack of budget, and being timeless and ageless forever. I want to bring people together. I want people that don’t like hip hop to give my music a chance so I can change their opinions and taste in music. I want to play off of every emotion and make people never feel alone. When they put on one of my records, I want them to always feel they have a friend and someone that understands them and whatever they are going through.
In your opinion, what makes you stand out from other artists?
I’m not a fraud. I’m not some pretend gangster that has never busted a move or hit a lick. My music comes from an honest place and I intend to resurrect the true culture of hip hop because social media has killed the hip hop norm. People can go viral for the wrong reasons and they have to maintain the nonsense in order to remain what they believe to be relevant. Some artist make a hit and they are now stuck in a genre that they barely can compete in. Other artists have the budget and the work ethic but lack the talent. Those are usually the ones that blow up and disappear. I believe that has a lot to do with their lack of penmanship. The power of the pen is more mighty than the sword, and that is for real. Words can’t die.
Have you performed or participated in any talent or television shows?
I have performed at a few music venues in Memphis, Tennessee, like The Hi Tone in Midtown, but that was before I was really serious about my music. That was just to knock off the butterflies and have fun. I have had one of my songs appear on The Real World Road Rules Challenge, but that was not my doing. I didn’t even know anything about it until BMI, my PRO, paid me for it. My first song “Jumanji” was played on Comedy Central because a college friend of mine did stand up for awhile. I never gave them permission to use my song either, but I didn’t really care.I had a show scheduled at the WhiskyAGoGo for April 16th but the COVID 19 pandemic moved the show date to August 13th. I am excited to announce that it will be my first live performance at a reputable venue in California.
What are you currently working on?
I am proud to announce that the Pink Panther is finally done! That is a project I have sat on for over ten years because it was my avatar. I wanted to have the right people involved on that song. I also have a song titled “Fake Sunsets,” “The Letters from the Better Me,” and “Jumanji Part 2,” that are next on my list. They are not complete, but once they are, I’ll announce my album date.
Cam Carter recently dropped two singles, “Spaceships” and “Just Listen,” that you HAVE to listen to! Although no visuals have been released for these single, hip-hop artist, Fetty Wap, took a huge interest in them, so Cam Carter will have a secret song appearing on Fetty’s mixtape dropping this May.
Follow Cam Carter on:
- Instagram: @camcarter901
- Facebook: @camcarter901
- YouTube Channel: Cam Carter
- TikTok: @camcarter901
- SnapChat: @camcarter901