Rapper Cam'ron was born and raised in Harlem. Though his playing earned him scholarship offers from top colleges, Cam'ron was unable to take advantage of them because of his poor academic record, and he enrolled at a small college in Texas instead. He quickly dropped out and returned to Harlem, where he became a drug dealer before turning to rap.
Cam'ron first attracted attention with "Pull It," which earned airplay in May 1998. "3-5-7" was featured in the movie Woo and became his first R&B chart entry in June. Then in July came "Horse & Carriage," featuring Mase. It made the R&B Top Ten and just missed hitting the pop Top 40, setting up Cam'ron's debut album, Confessions of Fire, which went gold and made the Top Ten of both the pop and R&B charts. "Feels Good" featuring Usher was another R&B chart entry in December. "Let Me Know" made the pop and R&B charts in June 1999.
A year later, "What Means the World to You" heralded the release of Cam'ron's biographical sophomore album, S.D.E. (the acronym standing for Sports, Drugs, and Entertainment). Cam'ron worked with Ol' Dirty Bastard, Mobb Deep's Prodigy, and producer Digga to complete the album, which was released in September 2000. After moving to Jay-Z's Roc-a-Fella label, his single "Oh Boy" became a big hit on urban radio in 2002. The album Come Home with Me also performed well.