Two Part Interview
Part 1: Music
VIBE: Tell me about Beat The Heat and the work you are doing with Gatorade.
Cam: Beat the Heat is about bringing awareness to coaches, players, and parents to keep their athletes hydrated throughout summer sports. It’s very important for everyone’s health to stay hydrated during, and also before and after sports. We just want to bring awareness to every athlete, every coach, every parent that has a student or has anything to do with sports. Professionals do a great job because we have on-hand trainers – that’s their job, that’s what they do, they make sure everyone is aware of their health on the field. But I think the challenge is for high schools, that age range, as well as college. For coaches, don’t tell kids to be a hero, and know the difference between challenging and pushing their players in a positive way, or being obnoxious and doing a particular activity that is challenging a person’s health.
VIBE: It seems like every time I see you, you've got on giant headphones.
Cam: Partnering with Beats By Dre has been an unbelievable source for me, because I am a person that believes in different emotions with music. Music can bring about different vibes on the field, off the field, urban life, going to church, leaving church. Everything the world may bring, there’s a song for it to put you in the right frame of mind.
VIBE: What kind of music do you listen to?
Cam: Artists from Kirk Franklin, Hezekiah Walker, Donnie McClurkin, to The Fray, to Explosions In The Sky. I listen to Jay-Z, Lil Wayne, Drake, Young Jeezy, Gucci Mane, 2 Chainz, Flo Rida, Future, Rihanna, Chris Brown, Maxwell. I can go to Kenny Chesney if I want to go country - sheesh, man! There’s a lot of them. I don’t just listen to one particular style of music, especially in my locker room you have to be somewhat of a hybrid for music because we have different days when different music is played.
VIBE: How did you get such an appreciation for different kinds of music?
Cam: It started at a young age, especially being in the church. My father always wanted me to play a musical instrument and I never had that type of skill. My oldest brother, Cecil, plays the drums, and I always admired him playing and practicing. I was a fan of his, but never could make the sound he could make on the drum set. It was that, and being in church, especially being in Baptist or Pentacostal church where music can have a person on the floor catchin’ Holy Ghost! Then going to high school, being in Atlanta – you look at the top ten hottest artists right now, outside of Drake and Lil Wayne, we probably have the most artists in the country right now from Atlanta. You think of Jeezy, Gucci Mane, Future, T.I., Ludacris.
VIBE: Do you have a set playlist before games?
Cam: I know when it’s getting close to game time, I create a different playlist for each and every game. Before the game, to gametime, to warmups, going to the stadium, I have a different playlist that puts me in a different mode.
VIBE: Do you have a few songs from your playlist you can share?
Cam: Being that this is VIBE Magazine, I know people will be very familiar with the songs, but they’re very… explicit. There’s no similarity between football and ballet, so this ain’t ballet music being played on the field. I’m pumping something that’s going to put me in a frame of mind to go to war, and something that’s very high tempo and high beat.
VIBE: Have you ever tried rapping?
Cam: A lil’ something here and there, but strictly joking, nothing serious. I have a couple [rapper] friends that I talk to, and I’m aware of their work schedule. Being a successful rapper and the schedule you have to have, I don’t think my brain can form different song after song after song, and hit after hit. Especially now with mixtapes being very key, and people putting out mixtapes more than they put out albums, and coming up with different styles and different forms of music.
VIBE: You can't exactly squeeze a rap career into the NFL offseason.
Cam: Absolutely not! I’ll stick to buying their CDs and going to Best Buy to listen and find new music.
Part 2: Fashion, Movies
VIBE: How did you develop your personal style?
Cam: That’s something that I think, growing up in Atlanta, it brings a particular swagger about a person. There are three or four places in the country where people think of fashion: One is LA, obviously. Another is New York. And I think Atlanta has to be in the top five cities where fashion is very big. Growing up in Atlanta, knowing fashion, and me partnering with Belk to have my own clothing line is big, and it’s got a lot of teammates of mine excited because they get perks, trying to get the hookups on dress shirts or suits. They always try to give me a hard time with the way I dress.
VIBE: Your teammates make fun of the way you dress?
Cam: Oh absolutely. But like I say, I’m comfortable in my skin. I think dressing nowadays went from trying to fit in to wearing something to try to stick out. That’s not only in the NFL – you look around and it’s taken off like a virus in the NBA. Everybody is focused on it. My mom looks at games, she doesn’t just look at LeBron playing the game, she looks at LeBron during the post game interviews. Dwyane Wade, just recently Paul George wearing what he wears. Obviously Carmelo Anthony, Kevin Durant, and Russell Westbrook.
VIBE: Do those guys ever call you for fashion advice?
Cam: I need to be calling those guys for fashion advice!
VIBE: Can you set the trend for the NFL and get your teammates to start dressing better?
Cam: We have some guys on this team that dress unbelievably. Country boots, to cowboy style, to urban, to European very tight clothing. There’s a big fashion sense on the Carolina Panthers. I can’t speak for every team, but for us fashion is extremely big in our nature. We check each other’s style on the team bus when we’re going to the game.
VIBE: What were your style icons growing up?
Cam: Outside of the sports realm, I was big into Eastbay. I always looked at Eastbay Magazine to try to find what was the newest shoe coming out. Going to the mall, you obviously saw Ralph Lauren. We didn’t have the opportunities or the outlets to see the Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Burberry. We could only wish and just say, ‘One day, we’ll have the opportunity.’ There are things you look at from rappers, entertainers as a whole, and you see them. When they go on the red carpet you take notice of what they’re wearing and you try to go out and cop it for yourself.
VIBE: Did you camp out for sneakers growing up?
Cam: Naw, I was never one of those guys. With me being close friends with Michael Jordan, I always give him a hard time and say, ‘Under Armour’s on the rise!” He’s a person that took his brand, not only the Jordan brand with the sneakers, but overall the things he’s done with his name and his brand are unbelievable.
VIBE: How do you relax away from the field?
Cam: My place of refuge is definitely watching movies and playing video games. I know that’s kind of hard to fathom. I have a younger brother that is the joy of my life right now, with me not having any kids, and every time I get the opportunity to play him online or face-to-face I play him. I have some close cousins that we always very competitive when it comes to playing Madden, NBA2k, even FIFA. Now we have Call of Duty that’s about to come out, and we get very energetic and competitive with video games.
VIBE: What movies do you like?
Cam: Recently I saw The Hangover III, a great movie. Tonight I’m going to see Iron Man 3 or Fast and Furious. Going to the movies is one of my greatest hobbies.
VIBE: What about TV shows? Do you watch reality shows?
Cam: Just recently I bought the whole series of 24. I absolutely love watching Duck Dynasty. Those guys are great. Watching Uncle Si, and Phil, and those guys, it’s great.
VIBE: What happened with Jordan Gross video bombing your interview?
Oh God! [Laughs] That’s the perks of being on a goofy team. Here I am doing an interview, and Jordan Gross takes a bet. We can see the interviews in the conference room, so he says that he was watching my interview and someone bet him that he wouldn’t go in and wreck it. I didn’t even know it was him because I was trying to stay focused on the interview without getting distracted. So he was there for a couple seconds, and he got paid. I’m trying to contact him as we speak so I can get a piece of that pie!