Though I blog semi-regularly for a menswear site, I actually don't tend to buy many rare, exclusive or even expensive items of clothing. Like most of you, I use the vast majority of my hard-earned money for food, rent, bills, going out, taking bae on fire dates and, if at the end of the month I through some act of god have any extra money left that I don't feel like putting into savings, I might—might—cop a single jawn so that I might stunt on my haters as they wish to stunt onto me. And, even then, I try to go out of my way to find shit that's on sale or, if it's something I need to have just as bad as Kathy Lee needs Regis, I try to make sure that it's a unique piece that can weather years of wear and tear, as well as the fickle winds of both trendiness and my personal tastes. In other words, I'm not out here trying to buy a $500 rainbow print windbreaker only to realize six months later that tie-dye's over and also Jesus Christ-what-the-fuck-was-I-thinking buying a $500 tie-dye windbreaker in the first place? If I'm going to drop a significant portion of a paycheck on clothes so nice somebody who knows better than me is going to call it a "piece," it's got to be something that I love and am reasonably sure I will love until the mountains erode into the sea, the rats have fully taken over Brooklyn and cats and dogs are living together without incident. This sort of conservative, collection-minded buying stance usually ends in me picking up a pair of sensible shorts with a nearly imperceptible drop-crotch or tasteful camo pants, handmade in Brooklyn, with reinforced stitching on the butt so they don't wear out.
That is, of course, until I found out there was a motherfucking $200 Cam'ron bathrobe. Okay, with shipping, it was $225. But if you love Cam'ron as much as I love Cam'ron, that's a goddamn steal.
Much of Cameron Ezike Giles' greatness comes from his effortlessness. At peak Killa, Cam pushes run-the-song-back lyrical acrobatics with an air of detached amusement, as if he's consistently laughing to himself about the fact that anyone might find his most basic thoughts impressive. He raps as if he has never cared once in his life about anything, and that by opening his mouth to speak in rhyme, he's doing everyone a favor. Which, to be fair, he is. His public image is that of a man who has just woken up, but could cure cancer with about as much effort as it takes to shave (to wit: He once predicted streaming video on Netflix with the quip, "You know they at home watching Lifetime on the internet!" despite making that joke in 2004). If there is any human who deserves their own signature bathrobe, it is, without a single doubt, Cam'ron.
I suppose, before I get into this robe's life-changing properties, that I should describe its physical attributes. The robe was created by Vashtie, New York cool girl and "Downtown's sweeheart," in collaboration with Killa himself. It is a hooded robe, made of terry cloth and comes in a shade of purple that is almost comically distinct. If Julius Caesar were to rise from the grave and then enslave the human race, I would imagine he would want to wear boots that were of a similar hue. On the chest rests the word "Killa," stitched in golden twine. The robe's back contains the iconic lyric, "I was down 40/Now I'm up 50," from the equally iconic sonic exercise that is "Get 'Em Girls." Even if you have no interest in Cam'ron as a rapping human (though I cannot think of a single person who falls into this swagerless category), it is objectively nice.
Cam'ron would buy the fuck outta those tampons and dare anyone to judge him for doing it in a bathrobe.
I am not being hyperbolic when I say that Vashtie and Cam'ron have once and for all proven that a bathrobe can be literally, completely, utterly transformative. What's so striking about the Cam robe is that bathrobes are generally just sort of dumb pieces of sartorial ephemera, the very definition of inessential. No one actually needs a robe. You could just as easily use a pair of athletic shorts and a T-shirt in its stead, or simply wrap a towel around your waist. No one needs a robe to keep them from being naked. Except when its got a fucking Cam'ron lyric emblazoned on the back. Then, they become capes of truth and justice (not to be confused with actual capes, which Cam'ron also wears because, again, CAM'RON).
I suppose the best way to communicate the sense of invincibility offered by a Cam'ron-branded robe is by relaying an anecdote: Last night, my girlfriend asked me to go get her tampons. If you're a dude who lives with his girl, you've most likely also had this happen to you. It's embarrassing and kind of weird in the played out, but also very real "Um, but, like, I'm a dude" mentality most stunted males are unfortunately burdened with. However, it is a thing that you must do if you truly love your lady. Because there's a bodega right across the street from our crib, I decided to not actually get dressed and, instead, hit the bodega in my new robe (up until this point, it's been basically the only thing I wear when I'm home). It should be noted that bodegas are wily and untrustworthy, and it turns out this place didn't have tampons. Suddenly, I was faced with a choice: either go home and put on real clothes, so I could walk the seven minutes to the Family Dollar where there would definitely be tampons without feeling weird or just saying "fuck it" and walking to the Family Dollar in my bathrobe and Air Jordan slides, which are essentially my slippers during the summer months.
And that's when it hit me: What would Cam'ron do? Would he go back and put on clothes to impress some random shitheads he might pass on the street, or would he wear his bathrobe proudly, even if, like me, he didn't actually have any clothes on underneath? Who were these random hypothetical mystery fuccbois who I hadn't yet encountered to even consider judging me for walking around in a bathrobe? Cam'ron would buy the fuck outta those tampons and dare anyone to judge him for doing it in a bathrobe. So, that's exactly what I did. I marched into that Family Dollar wearing nothing but a Cam'ron robe and Air Jordan slides, bought tampons for my girlfriend with pride and finessed my way home.
The Cam'ron robe might not make you feel like Cam'ron, as it did for me, but it's a reminder that there's more than enough room in this world for those who are completely, wholly themselves without giving a fuck. The Cam'ron robe is a symbol that as long as this one perfect human exists, there's still hope for the rest of us.