Forgotten Treasure: Camp Lo “Uptown Saturday Night” (1997)
Ok let’s do a test. If I say “Luchini” what comes to your mind?
Did the entire ‘Luchini’ video play in your mind? You know the one with the fly mamas at the dinner and the robbery with presidents face masks on. Did you just remember how much you love Camp Lo? Ok not bad, now name me one other track off ‘Uptown Saturday Night’. Ya, that’s what I thought.
Now for all you real heads I’m so happy you remembered the greatness but for the rest of us impressionable people the crazy hype for “Luchini” overshadowed the rest of this album, making it a forgotten treasure. Luckily I still own my first 80GB IPod and on days when I’m cleaning with the fam I let that bad boy play on shuffle, which led me to fall upon “Sparkle”. Sonny Cheeba’s voice is so recognizable so it didn’t take but a moment for my mind to replace what I was listening to but it did give me the opportunity to re-explore this sick LP.Camp Lo - Sparkle
“Uptown Saturday Night” dropped right at the end of era where artists of the mainstream had a little more freedom with the work they dropped. How else would such as nostalgia-based album make it to the top of the billboards? The Sampling Skill of Ski for this album is outrageous! It manages to bring you right back to the 70s without losing track of that ‘now’ sound, which stills feels relevant in 2012 (15 years later!). The entire LP is busting with Classics from “Luchini” to “Sparkle” to “Black Connection” to “Say Word” to “Black Nostaljack” to “Coolie High” .. do you get the point? For me, Camp Lo is the best kind of group cause sometime I really don’t want to care about lyrics and since Suede and Cheeba are notorious for their often nonsensical rapid fire rhymes that focus much more on tone and flow then lyrical depth, you can just sit back and enjoy the groove.
The concept of this album is beautifully executed from lyrics to beats all the way to the beautiful album cover tribute to Marvin Gaye’s I Want You album cover.
Next time you looking for some tunes for your BBQ, dust off that copy of “Uptown Saturday Night” it’ll have everyone feeling bubbly.