Picks and Pans Review: Come Home With Me

updated 07/01/2002 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 07/01/2002 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Cam'ron (Roc-A-Fella)

On the cover of his third CD, rapper Cam'ron (real name: Cameron Giles) strikes a gangsta pose while holding his 2-year-old son Cameron Jr. As the parental-advisory warning label indicates, though, this is no family album. Showering his songs with language that would make any mother cover her ears, Cam'ron's hardcore lyrics graphically depict life on the streets of Harlem, where he was raised. There is a gritty realism at work here, but some of the violent imagery and, in particular, sexual slurs against women can be disturbing. As a rhymer, Cam'ron lacks the musical flow of executive producer Jay-Z, who appears on "Welcome to New York City." That track is one of the few with no samples or interpolations; everyone from Aretha Franklin to D'Angelo is referenced. On such retro-soulful cuts as the No. 1 R&B hit "Oh Boy," Cam'ron tempers the thug act, to the delight of radio and BET censors.—C.A.

Bottom Line: Don't take this Home to the kids

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