The Passion of the Weiss

Sometimes I rhyme slow, sometimes I rhyme quick. But most of the time, I don't rhyme.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Weiss Nostaljack

Inspired by a recent post by Joey and many different discussions with Nate , on the greatness of the group, Camp Lo, I have decided to join the Youtube Revolution and post their very awesome "Black Nostaljack," prolly the favorite music video of a 10th grade Passion of the Weiss. Hopefully, if you all don't hate it, I'm going to make this a regular feature, highlighting a different video each week that no one has prolly thought of in years.

For those of you, not familiar with the supreme excellence of Camp Lo, hopefully the video will stream faster on your computers than it streams on mine, but either way you can get a glimpse of what made them so original. Keep in mind, they were coming out of Harlem in the mid-90s, the same period when the Big Willie era of rap was running full steam. You had Jay-Z, Biggie, Puffy, and all the rest talking about flossing and balling. Meanwhile, with a viable underground hip hop scene just beginning with Company Flow's "Funcrusher" album", there was little room for rappers who weren't interested in talking about diamonds and drugs (see Nas' transformation from the Nasty Nas of Illimatic to Nas Escobar on the Firm LP). Floating somewhere in between the braggadocio of the "Big Willies" and the Company Flows of the NYC of 1997, were the two MCs that constituted Camp Lo, Sonny Chiba and Geechie Suede, flowing on their own slang-heavy psychadelics meets blaxploitation trip. Needless to say, they flew a bit under the radar and few people bought their outstanding debut, "Uptown Saturday Night."

And this video here explains a great deal more of what made Camp Lo so unique, as it basically put the two rappers inside an episode of Good Times. This video is the hip hop analogue to Weezer's "Buddy Holly," and since Camp Lo has never made as song as bad as "Beverly Hills," I'm going to give them the one up on Weezer. Just check out the clothes Camp Lo rock in this video, making Andre from Outkast's sartorial insanity/excellence seem a little less inspired when you take into account that this video was made in early 1997.

Following Uptown Saturday Night, Camp Lo essentially disappeared from the scene for the next five years until their album "Let's Do It Again" on small-time label, Dymond Crook appeared in May 2002. I haven't heard it and would be curious if anyone else has. But by 2002, the rap world was completely different and Camp Lo's return effort barely created a ripple.

Since then, Camp Lo has barely been heard of, other than an appearance on Aesop Rock's "Bazooka Tooth," lp. Apparently, a big fan of Camp Lo, Aesop tried to get them to appear on the track and it turned out they'd heard of him and were fans. The track "Limelighters," was only lackluster, but it again proved that Camp Lo were two of the most unique mc's ever put on wax. In a world full of L'il Wayne's, Young Jeezy's and Chingy's, I get nostalgiac for a time when two rappers who didn't rap about gats and slanging crack could get mainstream love, without having to subvert their music to make it appealing to 13-year old girls and Dave Matthews-loving frat boys (yeah, I'm talking about Kanye West). In a world when Pitchfork says that L'il Wayne's "syrupy leftovers murder most gushy singles" you know something is terribly awry. Apparently, the Fiery Furnaces and irony loving scribes at Pitchfork obviously must have forgotten that this is the same L'il Wayne who once replied that after every show he makes sure to, "slang dick and fuck a ho." Yeah, that's the fucking bard of our times.

So with Camp Lo having put out a new song "Bed Rock," and rumors of them signing to Talib Kweli's label flying around the Internets, it raises my hope that perhaps this once-great group can be resurrected. Nothing can save the mainstream rap world from being saturated by a bunch of no-talent-ass clowns, but if nothing else this video can entertain everyone for five minutes and remind everyone of a great duo that time forgot.


At 8:20 PM, Anonymous Slav said...

Yes, Camp Lo. Luchini pourin from da sky e'day all day.

At 8:30 PM, Blogger Nate said...

This is what? what? what?

Anyhow, thanks for getting all Nostaljack on us.

I am definitely trying to buy their CD online right now. I'm sure one of my brothers shaddy high school friends jacked my coveted cd while I was away at college. Thank God for Amazon!

At 8:44 PM, Blogger Passion of the Weiss said...

And you're giving it to me to burn (please) for I no longer have my copy either and finding that thing used in a store is an impossible proposition.

At 11:43 AM, Blogger Kenny said...

Camp Lo was dope, good to hear they might be coming back. I'd never seen that video though, good stuff, now I gotta go through my CD collection and find that album as well.

At 11:50 AM, Blogger Passion of the Weiss said...

Seriously I think its the album that everyone misplaced or let their really adament to borrow friend loan in 98 and it hasnt been heard from since....ahh the days without digital music.

At 6:00 PM, Anonymous ry said...

worst early high school memory for the best possible cause: getting busted for shoplifting uptown saturday night at best buy.

At 6:28 PM, Blogger Passion of the Weiss said...

That's a cool memory though in hindsight. I never shoplifted a record once because I was way too scared. My dad definitely would've gone "whip me with a strap on me." Though I had a best friend who later became a born again Christian who sold me stolen copies of Pearl Jam's Vs. and Doggystyle for $7 bucks apiece. Definitely not as badass.

At 8:14 PM, Anonymous ry said...

It's true. I think I ended up in community service building a home for Habitat for Humanity. So all's well. But it's still damn scary to get handcuffed. Whoa. Anyway, the new Camp Lo song is good.


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