Remix Tuesdays : Camp Lo


I’m back from my hiatus to resume writing again and of course I needed to write a new instalment of the weekly Remix Tuesday. I had to take some time off from blogging. I had a huge amount of school work and just didn’t have the time. Shouts to Buhizzle for keeping this feature going while I was gone, along with the rest of the ML crew for holding down the fort.

Today I’m covering a classic by Camp Lo, the Bronx-based duo of Sonny Cheeba & Geechi Suede. “Black Nostaljack (AKA Come On)” was the third and final single released off their still-great debut Uptown Saturday Night.

The original rocks an smooth loop of Curtis Mayfield’s “Tripping Out”, and is produced by Camp Lo’s primary producer Ski and Ill Will Fulton. I can’t tell you too much about Fulton as a producer; I think he was an in-house Roc-A-Fella Records producer at some point, judging by his Discogs entry.

You can listen to the original sample below:

Ski and Fulton slightly sped up the intro of the Mayfield song and looped it for that amazing bassline and stuttered guitar. The horns from about the 30 second mark are interspersed at intervals into the main loop. Some nice strings pop occasionally as well. The backing track provides the perfect instrumental for Geechie and Cheeba to floss their blaxploitation-era slang steez over.

Of course, the song becomes even better once you hear it in the context of the music video:


The video sees the group joining an episode of Good Times, (a la Weezer’s video for Buddy Holly), complete with a cameo from JJ Walker! I really want one of those leather caps. Look for the cover of Uptown Saturday Night appearing as a painting in the Evans’ house.

Geechie Suede’s opening verse is one of my favourite Camp Lo verses, simply in terms of enjoyably surreal imagery (is there any other kind of Camp Lo verse?) :

Now here we are star apport a sarsparilla
I’m the Don Ezetti on the Veric Express
We got the Imperio and vino just for the keeper
And yes he be the Cheeba
And yes I be the Sueda
So gimme zigga zigga
And we can get with Kiki
The seventh heaven cloud is for my kufi and dashiki
So you see me on the upper
But it’s always the Lowa
We make it Hollywood cuz diamond crooks is takin’ over

Now, here’s where the remix comes in. The chorus of the album version of the song goes like this:

If you from the BX connects nigga
Nigga come on
If you from the BKs souffle nigga
Nigga come on
If you from the cherry QBs nigga
Nigga come on
If you from the NY you fly nigga
Nigga come on
Nigga come on

In the radio edit (used for the music video), the title of Nas’s next album in the chorus is replaced by “sugah”, which actually works pretty well without seeming forced. And a melanin-deficient individual such as myself can participate in the chorus!

But the radio edit evidently wasn’t enough for Ski and Ill Will Fulton, because they remixed the radio version for it’s own 12′, the one pictured at the top of this post. The remix is amusingly titled the “Xenobia Mix” , presumably for the removal of the n-word in the chorus.

The Xenoboia remix takes most of the original beat, but seemingly beefs up the bass and drums. It replaces the funky guitar line from the original with some ill layered strings. Rather than immediately starting with the beat, the song begins with only the aforementioned strings. Geechi and Sonny go through the modified chorus once, backed solely by the string sample. Just as the chorus finishes, the beat kicks in with that thick bassline and the strings drop out. The strings are integrated into the beat for each chorus and appear again in the outro.

I like them both equally, but it’s amazing how much of a difference the strings make in the remix. Ski deserves more credit for skills behind the boards.

The original “Black Nostaljack” 12” featured a remix produced by Kid Capri on the b-side, that beatjacks Run-D.M.C.’s “Beats To The Rhyme”. The remix features new verses from Camp Lo, Reverend Run and Kid Capri. It might considered a bit of a stretch to call it a remix; the only thing that remains from the original is the chorus, which is shouted by Rev. Of course, it wouldn’t be a Capri remix without him adlibbing over it.

The Lo actually sound pretty good over the Bob James’ sample. “Nautilus” never gets old, does it? You can listen to it on YouTube for comparison’s sake.

Listen to all the versions and let me know which is your favourite in the comments.

Black Nostaljack (AKA Come On)

Black Nostaljack (Xenobia Mix)

Black Nostaljack (Kid Capri Mix Tape Remix ft.Kid Capri & Rev Run)

BONUS BEATS: I would be remiss to not mention Dan Love’s excellent 2-part interview with Camp Lo producer Ski. Read the first part of the interview here at From Da Bricks, where Ski talks about making Camp Lo’s first album, among other things.

Props to Twelve Inchers for the hookup on the Xenobia remix, along with the image at the top.

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