The Underrated: Camp Lo's Uptown Saturday Night

By @TrueGodImmortal

1. Krystal Karrington
2. Luchini aka This Is It
3. Park Joint
4. B-Side To Hollywood
5. Killin Em Softly
6. Sparkle
7. Black Connection
8. Swing
9. Rockin It AKA Spanish Harlem
10. Say Word
11. Negro League
12. Nicky Barnes AKA It's Alright
13. Black Nostaljack AKA Come On
14. Coolie High
15. Sparkle- Mr. Midnight Mix

There are some albums that linger below the radar to the mainstream and doesn't get the credit it deserves for being innovative. One album that fits that would be the debut from Camp Lo, the amazing Uptown Saturday Night album. Sonny Cheeba and Geechi Suede were a duo from the Bronx with eclectic styles and felt like a throwback to the smooth funk sounds of the 70s infused with the hip hop sensibility of the late 90s. This album would be mostly produced by Ski, who was previously known for some of his work on Jay-Z's debut Reasonable Doubt.

The album kicks off with the dope "Krystal Karrington", which leads right into the hit "Luchini(This Is It)", which is extremely dope and triumphant. The triumphant feel of the song makes you get into instant celebratory mode regardless. The next track "Park Joint", as well as "B-Side To Hollywood" features a bit of a more aggressive feel via the lyrics and beat. Both tracks are very dope and infectious even, which could be used to describe most of Camp Lo's music. While not the greatest lyricists, they spit some fire on the laid back "Killin Em Softly", with some of the best verses on the album here.

The smooth vibes of "Sparkle" are completely jazz influenced and very relaxing. The song is perfect and one of my favorite ones on the album. "Black Connection" is a very infectious track, with the melody carrying the beat very well. They go into different territory with "Rockin It Aka Spanish Harlem", which is not one of my favorites here but it's definitely a risky song for this album, but it manages to blend in well in cohesion.

The album gets a bit darker for "Say Word" and "Negro League", as the beats forego the jazzy smooth feel for a more funky and aggressive style. The smooth vibe returns on "Black Nostaljack AKA Come On" as the duo kick some dopeness over a funky jazz beat. As the album nears the end, we arrive at the single "Coolie High", which is a perfect way to truly close the album out.

The album doesn't get enough credit, as Camp Lo was lowkey influential in a lot of ways and the funky jazz style was very different from the hardcore mafia rap that ruled the land at the time. Revisit this album and enjoy.



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