April 9, 2007

Camp Lo - Uptown Saturday Night (January 28, 1997)


Camp Lo, a rap duo from the Bronx, may not have sold many albums, but they can at least pat themselves on the back for bringing sheer entertainment value back to hip hop, even if their blaxploitation dadaist slang makes them sound like two Ghostface Killahs tweaking on crystal meth.

Geechi Suede and Sonny Chiba teamed up with Jay-Z's old producer Ski to present Uptown Saturday Night, an unusually decent debut with beats that the Lo groove over, and yet you can't help but think that at least a couple of these were Jay-Z leftovers (and if anyone out there is ambitious enough to put Jay-Z acapellas over Camp Lo's better beats, I'd love to hear it).

1. KRYSTAL KARRINGTON
No 'rap album intro' bullshit here; they jump right in over a thundering beat that fits their style. I can't stress enough that their lyrical style is made up of a mixture of pop culture and blaxploitation references, so it's not the easiest to decipher, but it fucking sounds good.

2. LUCHINI A/K/A THIS IS IT
Still a fucking great track. Only God and Ski know why they don't make beats like this anymore.

3. PARK JOINT
Okay, I'll let this song pass, since the first two songs were so good.

4. B-SIDE TO HOLLYWOOD (FEAT TRUGOY THE DOVE)
Trugoy from De La Soul guests and produces here. One of the weaker contributions on the album.

5. KILLIN' EM SOFTLY
Killin' the momentum, is more like it.

6. SPARKLE
And picking it up slightly...

7. BLACK CONNECTION
...and we're back. Thanks for joining us.

8. SWING (FEAT ISH A/K/A BUTTERFLY)
First time I heard this song, it was at the tail end of the "Luchini" video, and it still sounds as good as it did back then.

9. ROCKIN' IT A/K/A SPANISH HARLEM
It's as if the Lo couldn't really decide on their song titles, so they went with the "either/or" approach. You'll see what I'm talking about in a bit.

10. SAY WORD
You're not the boss of me.

11. NEGRO LEAGUE (FEAT BONES AND KARACHI R.A.W.)
Seriously, otherwise no-name rappers have their own weed carriers on a track? Too funny for words.

12. NICKY BARNES A/K/A IT'S ALRIGHT
See? Told you.

13. BLACK NOSTALJACK A/K/A COME ON
Meh.

14. COOLIE HIGH
Their first single, first heard on the soundtrack to The Great White Hype. I can't believe this song actually got some burn on the radio, but I'm glad it did.

15. SPARKLE (MR. MIDNIGHT MIX)
Sounds exactly like you'd think it would.


FINAL THOUGHTS: Uptown Saturday Night is a pretty good debut from two young upstart rappers who never followed this up with anything of any importance, and yet they're still beloved by bloggers the world over. Don't let that dissuade you from giving this a listen, though, as most of it is very entertaining, if not very memorable.

BUY OR BURN? If you can find it anywhere, spend the two dollars and buy this. If you can't find it anywhere, then you're not looking hard enough.

BEST TRACKS: "Coolie High"; "Luchini A/K/A This Is It"; "Krystal Karrington"

-Max

9 comments:

  1. meh for black nostaljack? are you serious?

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  2. Worst review ever!

    Damn... at least do your history (aka Homework).

    Ski was not Jigga's old producer. He was indeed Camp Lo's producer.
    And those beat were not leftovers from Jay's album.
    Jay borrowed some beats from Ski that were initially made for this album. They ended up on Reasonable Doubt.

    Do your homework before reviewing albums.

    Peace

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  3. Memories, memories...sweet,sweet memories!!! To think that radio (Yfm here in South Africa) used to bump the hell out of a few tracks on this album. Nowadays... lets not even go there (read:Lil Wayne etc)

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  4. max you dont like "Killing Em Softly that track is one of the hardest in the album

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  5. TOP TEN BEST HIP HOP ALBUM OF ALL TIME>>>PERIODZZ

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  6. For some reason, I hate this album. Other than "Swing" and "Killin Em Softly",(Ironically the two most conventional-sounding songs on the album) I hate the living shit out of it. The whole 70s Disco-ey blaxploitation feel of it. The constant fucking references to Moet and Cristal and Alize. Sonny Cheeba's voice alone pisses me off.

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  7. A-face...most of those beats were pre Jigga...

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  8. Well, Cant Say You Don't Have An Opinion. "Luchini", And "Black Nostaljak" Were Also Singles That Received Radio Play, As I Remember It. Also, Jay-Z Jacked The Beat To "Feelin' It" Which Had The Lo-Ah On It Originally, & Used Their Rhyme Cadence As Well! Google The Interview(s) With Ski If U Haven't Already Caught It. Besides Your Incomplete Homework And Personal Opinion, You Get Points For At Least Blogging & Keeping Alive What Is To Many True Hip Hop Heads, A Timeless Class Act Of An Album...

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  9. Max you get really lazy sometimes with your explanations. Really love the blog though but damn how don't you vibe with Killin' Em Softly? whatever

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