Camp Lo: Fever Pitch

Call them “The Lo” if you’d like, but South Bronx reppin’ MCs Sonny Cheeba and Geechi Suede are still officially known as Camp Lo. Since their acclaimed 1997 debut Uptown Saturday Night and its hit “Luchini AKA This Is It,” Camp Lo have always been a fresh counterpoint to the mainstream Hip-Hop standard of the […]

Call them “The Lo” if you’d like, but South Bronx reppin’ MCs Sonny Cheeba and Geechi Suede are still officially known as Camp Lo. Since their acclaimed 1997 debut Uptown Saturday Night and its hit “Luchini AKA This Is It,” Camp Lo have always been a fresh counterpoint to the mainstream Hip-Hop standard of the day. Rocking their elastic flows and Blaxploitation heavy slang over dazzling beats—usually courtesy of Ski of Reasonable Doubt infamy—the duo has gone on to release Let’s Do It Again in 2002 and two well-received mixtape projects since, including 2007’s Black Hollywood. Earlier this year Camp Lo and their Soul Fever imprint signed to Steve Rifkind’s Universal Records backed SRC Records. It’s been a long minute since the Diamond Crooks have enjoyed major label assistance but the current music climate’s relative limpness makes it difficult to say how their brand of Hip-Hop and next proper release, A Piece of the Action, will fair.However, with the pair’s talents (yes, they rhyme better than you), and more joints like their current “Lumdi,” it’s a safe bet Diamond Geechie and Emerald Suede should be reaching some new highs, while keeping it Lo. So, y’all are now signed to SRC Records, how’d that come about?Geechi Suede: Well, [our] manager Kristi Clifford she pretty much got it to Mr. Cee from Hot [97], the record “Lumdi,” right after we cooked it, fresh out the oven. She got it to them, they enjoyed it, started playing it and SRC heard about it kinda at the same time Kristi was hollering at the them too ’cause she had sent a little email out to them or whatever and they was hollering. They actually hollered at Hot 97 asking who was this record they was hearing called “Lumdi,” they didn’t know it was us. Lumdi – Camp Lo How’d the record come about?Sonny Cheeba: We actually had been sitting on the track for like a year and we didn’t know when we was gonna hit it whatever, whatever. So finally in January we finally decided to do the song and we was thinking like, Yo any new music Camp Lo do gotta be energetic. Everything can’t be laid back no more, get what I’m saying? Now it came like on the heels not too far after your last album, Black Hollywood. Had y’all moved on from the project already or y’all just had this heat in the stash?Sonny Cheeba: Actually, that was a mixtape. Yeah, that was like some songs we had in the stash exactly and then cats wanted to put it out so that’s how we walked with it.Ticket For 2 – Ski Beatz featuring CAMP So were y’all looking for a deal or were y’all just doing the independent thing?Geechi Suede: We were pretty much looking for the right situation regardless whether it was going to be major or indie. You know what, I’d rather say we were looking to create the right situation after being in [the game] for a minute now and doing different things that took us down places we didn’t agree with. Later on we decided we would create a situation, you know what I mean. That really worked out ’cause we got our own situation Soul Fever going through SRC. That’s our little venture right there, Soul Now y’all had kind of a situation with Loud before, I’m thinking of the “Trouble Man” b/w “Cookers” joint y’all had on Stimulated Dummies.Geechie Suede: Wow, right, right… Actually we were supposed to leave there and go to Loud [but] Loud went under and from that point on that’s when the whole independent started, we started trying to do everything ourselves like with “Glow” and Let’s Do It Going back a bit, “Sunkiss,” did y’all push that as far as you wanted to? ‘Cause it kind of came and went but the joint is crazy.Geechie Suede: “Sunkiss” was some experimental stuff that we felt good about and actually got tied to maybe five other songs and we ended up releasing a little Japan overseas EP type exclusive for other there. “Sunkiss” became a part of a project called Short Eyes, our Japan import. So what’s up with the new project, A Piece of the Action, how far into it are y’all?Sonny Cheeba: We got like 32 in. We had to fall back for like the last one and a half ’cause we were going in there song after song after song and we just wanted to heat it up for minute and come back with some new energy. But we’re 32 in right And what about production on there, who’s handling it?Geechie Suede: We’re working with this new up and coming brother named Apple Juice Kid and we got some stuff on there with Ski as well and I think before we close it all we’ll probably be getting some other stuff on there. We’ve been throwing ideas back and forth as far as who we wanna get for the features but we haven’t landed on any concrete platform What’s the reasoning behind that?Sonny Cheeba: I guess it’s like a new energy like the music is never gonna stay the same as far as it is with us, know what I mean. Like we aren’t gonna make the same music we made when we first came out or in between so everything right now is brand new. So the cats who love us love us and we tryna hit these new cats and just let’em know Hip-Hop music, the sound coming from The Lo.Camp Lo “Luchini AKA This Is It” Y’all brothers have always had real strong following yet

that mainstream recognition has eluded y’all a bit. So have y’all ever

had conversations about that or try to put your finger on it?Sonny Cheeba: I think it kind of came down to cats getting caught up in a whole lot of bad paperwork. The paperwork from Profile to Arista and then Arista wasn’t diggin our vision, they seen something else for us so we had gotten a release off there and within that time you’re not seeing our face in the place no more, music you ain’t hearing, no videos on the tube, I think that’s what really went down to be honest with you.Geechie Suede: Yeah definitely, I agree with those time gaps in between, just bad decisions too bruh. And one of those things that I always look back on Profile sold the label after “Luchini” the time Uptown Saturday Night took off  they didn’t waste no time selling the label so we ain’t really even feel our lifespan off that record on that particular label. So really all we ever needed was a solid platform to present our s**t on and you know I feel like everything will be alright man…everything will be Let me ask you what ultimately made y’all decide to roll with SRC because I’m sure y’all had other options as well?Sonny Cheeba: Well, it was a couple of other cats biting at us, biting at Lo, but SRC was the ones who was moving the quickest. We supposed to have did a Warner [Bros.] thing but it was moving  slow motion right before the SRC. SRC, they pretty much jumped on it, seen what we was talking about and that was basically it.Geechi Suede: Yeah, they felt our vision also, we felt their vision and we were able to do a situation where we got our own combined with theirs with the Soul Fever. Being in the game for [the] length of time we have I feel it’s only right that we progress in that manner ’cause I mean s**t, why else would we be doing it? So we got our own little situation bubbling with them as well and you know we got some artists we’re working with so we’re pushing forward Let me ask you this final question, how do y’all stay sharp? ‘Cause I’m sure some of the peers that y’all came in the game with over the years their skills kinda declined but y’all have been able to stay consistent. What do y’all attribute that to?Sonny Cheeba: Cats enjoy making music that’s first off regardless of what. And we don’t have no blueprint, we follow no guidelines of what’s going on at the time so we do it our way, how we been doing it, I think that’s where our consistency stays; keeping that new flow every time. We don’t like to flow over the same beat…we got could rock two 8s on one joint and the flows will switch up four times per dude.Geechie Suede: I agree with Cheeb all the way as far as like we don’t look outside of our sphere when we’re creating we just always stay I guess it’s not a problem to me bruh when we came out with “Coolie High” in ’97 it still feel like that to me man and that’s a good thing ‘cause I know I’m trapped in that Black Hollywood s**t you know what I’m saying so I’m good with that. We just stay within our own sphere, we don’t look at anything exterior to ourselves to judge whether we gonna make a move or not. We just do what we do so it’s a good thing man, it’s a good formula.Camp Lo “Coolie High” Video