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 Review archive:  # a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z

Camp Lo - Let’s Do It Again [Dymond Crook Records - 2002]

One time I came to Suede’s crib and I knocked on the door like: “what’s good, homey?” He says: “chillin”. But he’s chillin’ in the crib pitch black! He got no lights on. Then he says: “I’m takin’ it light”. He never explained why he did that. (from an interview in The Source: July 2002)

Emerald Suede and Chiba (previously known as Sonny Cheeba and Geechi Suede) are little bit different than the others in the New York hiphop flock. Salahadeen T. Wilds and Saladine T. Wallace, both muslim and born in the same hospital, seem like flashy twins, living in a different time and space than us (check the pictures for their funky cowboy-pimp suits). They released their first album, Uptown Saturday Night, in 1997. The single Luchini a.k.a. This Is It became a small hit among hiphop enthusiasts. Their mix of ’70s blaxpoitation, smokey jazz ‘n’ soul and hiphop was already original to begin with, but their unique flow really topped it off. The streams of syncopated rhymes, funky diction and odd pronunciation were hard to follow, especially when English is not your first language. It didn’t matter though, their raps had a something musical about them, that was enough to enjoy Uptown Saturday Night.

After the initial cult-success, the Brooklyn-based duo got entangled in the typical recordcompany shit. Too bad, because that album still stands as one of the best hiphop CD’s I know. But now, 5 years later, they are back on their own label: Dymond Crook. With the first album grown into my system over the years, it’s difficult to recognize new stuff. Although the first listen had some immediate hits, it had to grow. So two weeks, and many spins, later I feel safe to say that they did it again!

Chiba and Suede flow like we’re used to, but a little more advanced and I think they built on sound rather than content. Tiny details like the cabasa doubling ‘sushi’ three times with Chiba’s lyrics in Carnival 4 Sha and pronunciating ‘blue’ like Suede does in Black Connect II exemplify that. Amazing constructs of words maintain the funky Camp Lo flow. Productionwise, besides old soul (8 Moons Ago), funk (Macadame) and blaxpoitation (Black Connect II) samples, a lot of African influences are added like in Gorilla Pimp. One of my favourite tracks Turbo Ozone has an Arabic feel to it and a great hook.

Currently the music press is so busy hyping the Definitive Jux roster (which is fine, they’re good) it might be possible this one might be overlooked (again) and that would be a shame. I’m not sure if Let’s Do It Again is released worldwide or just in the USA. These days it should be no problem to get a hold of it and anybody who’s into quality hiphop should check this one out, he or she won’t be disappointed.

Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5

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