Camden, New Jersey is roughly 100 miles away from any borough in NYC, yet it can feel worlds apart when you’re talking about their hip-hop scenes. While legends like Joe Budden, Redman, and Queen Latifah hail from the Garden State, Mir Fontane is in the forefront of the new, Southside movement putting Jersey on their back. His latest album, Camden, perfectly captures Fontane's love-hate relationship with the city.
To listen to these songs, with stories of navigating through the streets (“Still in the Hood,” “This Life”) and proving his self-worth (“WYD,” “Real Niggaz”), is to plunge into the emotional ride of a 24-year-old coming up in Camden.
Influenced by great narrators like The Notorious B.I.G., 2Pac, 50 Cent, and more, Mir Fontane, a moniker derived from the Godfather’s Johnny Fontane character, wants to be known for his cinematic approach to hip-hop.
The positive reception of his previous work eventually led to his biggest song to date (“Down By the River”) that topped the Spotify U.S. Top 200 chart at No. 6 upon its release. His latest single, “Frank Ocean,” features him singing a strained hook about fans claiming to be day ones but still play J. Cole, Drake, and Frank Ocean over his music.
With Camden already getting behind him, he hopes his success story—the one he’s currently writing—will inspire a generation of artists to bring home something as coveted as a Grammy or an even greater achievement. It all starts with Fontane leading the charge.