Camp Lo

Another Heist

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Bronx-based duo Camp Lo made an indelible mark on the rap game in the mid-'90s with their now-classic debut Uptown Saturday Night, a unique, loosely conceptual album built on quirky rhyme styles, '70s soul/funk samples, an obsession with blaxploitation flicks, and old-school fashions that preceded later hipster-hop tendencies. After a five-year hiatus, a mediocre sophomore effort, and another five-year hiatus, Sonny Cheeba and Geechi Suede seem to have found their groove; working the independent grind with producer Ski (the man responsible for the beats behind their best tracks) listed as the group's third member, Camp Lo have been able to put out three quality LPs in three years (and two in 2009 alone). On their fifth album, Another Heist, the two MCs are in the same lyrical territory as ever-- '70s throwbacks galore, endless name-drops of yesteryear's prominent black figures, and fantastical diamond heists-- while Ski's crisp production revisits formulas that came up big on Uptown Saturday Night. The bolero-tinged rhythms of "Satin Amnesia" don't sound too far removed from those of "Rockin' It aka Spanish Harlem" or the original "Black Connection," the hard-thump old-school drum track of "Good Green" corresponds to "Swing" and the delicate, jazz-flute-driven "I Love It Then" mirrors the suave beatscape lurking behind "Sparkle." Still, the fact that these hip-hop oddballs have decided to stick to the formula that works best for them doesn't make Another Heist any less entertaining of a listen. Even within a seemingly limited stylistic niche, Camp Lo manages to remain worlds apart from their peers. Like Kool Keith, Das Efx, or Cypress Hill, they've staked their claim on territory all their own and that's bound to make for some wheel spinning.

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