Believed to be kindred souls, the connection between Camp Lo was strong long before they ever met. Having variations of the same name, dating back to Muslim upbringings and carrying impressively, optimistic perspectives on life as well as an immense fascination with the fashion and lingo of the Blaxploitation era- although they grew up in the typically survivalist vibe of Bronx, NY- this pair was meant to come together.
Introduced by a mutual friend, Saladine T. Wilds, an aspiring electrician, joined forces with Salahadeen T. Wallace to form the creative partnership called Camp Lo. Immediately, they created and shopped a demo of their music self-described as neo-soul in a hip hop setting. Eight months later they signed with Profile Record.
Known individually as Sonny Cheeba and Geechi Suede, Camp Lo seemed destined for stardom as their debut single “Coolie High”, featured on 1996’s The Great White Hype soundtrack, was a hit peaking at #25 on the Billboard Hot Rap Singles chart. Camp Lo followed up with their success with the 12″ single “Luchini (This is It)”. Produced by Ski who made a name for himself through his work on Jay-Z’s Reasonable Doubt, Luchini and their debut LP Uptown Saturday Night, (named after the 1974 Sidney Poitier and Bill Cosby comedy) became a crossover hit in 1997, breaking into the top 5 on the Billboard Hot 100. Luchini went on to reach the top 5 on the Hot Rap Singles chart and is considered a classic from the highly regarded golden era of hip-hop. The 12″ also featured the B-Side Swing which featured Ish the Butterfly from the grammy winning Digable Planets. Butterfly’s cameo at the end of the Luchini video propelled the group even further as they were now considered as hip-hop’s elite along side groups like De la Soul, A Tribe Called Quest and Digable Planets.
The album’s Sugar Shack cover-art of Ernie Barnes served as a poignant reflection of what Camp Lo has been about since day. Unfortunately the good vibes, soulful 70’s spirit and slang, took a back seat to label politics. Profile was folding and as a result, Camp Lo’s contract was passed on to Arista. Arista, however, did little more than re-release Uptown Saturday Night and once their contract was up with Arista, Camp Lo jumped at the chance to produce the double-sided single, “Cookers” and “Trouble Man” on Stimulated/Loud Records. The single was a hit amongst true hip-hop fans but big business was too busy remolding hip-hop for mainstream american business so the single stayed beneath the surface. Though they recorded a number of songs during this time, including Will Smith’s “Yes, Yes Y’all, DJ Honda’s ” Disco T-E-K: and De la Soul’s So Good”, the group would go unoticed until 2002. In 2002 Camp Lo independently released the full length Let’s Do It Again. This effort was not nearly as well-received as their debut, and was met with mediocre reviews and sales. The album did, however, produce the street hit “Glow” and proved that Camp Lo was still capable of making hits. Shortly after the album’s release, Aesop Rock enlisted them to appear on the song “Limelighters” of his album Bazooka Tooth, exposing them to fans of the underground Definitive Jux label.
Since 2002 Camp Lo has continued to tour and deliver top quality hip-hop music having released Black Hollywood (2007), Stone and Rob : Caught On Tape (2008) and Another Heist (2009). In 2010 Camp Lo began work on their newest project 80 Blocks From Tiffany’s produced entirely by Legendary Hip-Hop producer Pete Rock. Their 80 Blocks From Tiffany’s Mixtape has been heralded as a return of Golden Era Hip-Hop and has fans excited about the groups return to a major platform. In 2012 Independent Label Nature Sounds announced a new Camp Lo album produced by Ski beats is in the works.