I always wanted to put together an ode to one of my favorite groups, Camp Lo. People ask me why I'm so fascinated with Camp Lo and I think the reason is apparent but for those who do not see what I see, I'll break it down for you. 

1. Cultural Constructivism. Camp Lo utilizes a sort of Black referential realism to form their own epistemology. They weave historical figures and Black popular culture to form a hyperreal Black identity; collapsing numerous Black eras into one. They reference Lena Horne, Nat Turner, dashikis, What's Happening the tv show, and West African names (often in the same verse). This allows Camp Lo to piece together figures, historical events, and popular culture in hodge-podge fashion and make it seem like a set of interconnected ideas. Their lyrics are a Black cultural politics class on acid. In the selection below Sonny Cheeba "Billy Holidays" the "Foxy Browns," i.e. provides class for young dames. Holiday, an actual figure, and Foxy Brown, a movie character, become interconnected representations of Black female identity. By replacing concepts and situations (that would normally take the average rapper a few bars to explain) with pop cultural and historical references, Camp Lo packs verses with jotted imagery in hyperbolic detail. Entire identities and eras are funneled into one adjective or used as elaborate concepts.      

Case Study: Coolie High
Got the bubbly pourin through me at Cleopatra's casino
Sweetbackin' Coolie High Jackin, Jitterbugs and little (?)
Dolemite's outta site Anti-hatahs cats in the city
On the money takin the tri-state under sore savant
Billy Holidayin' the Foxy Browns with my Harlequinns
Penny he repellin reflected crystals is Hollywood

2. Cultural Malleability. The Lo primarily reference Black culture but also incorporate outside influences into their flow. The French Connection becomes "The Black Connection." They embody Blaxploitation Post Modernism. Furthermore, their cultural trajectory isn't monolithic. Whereas Ice Cube once rebelled against the Native Tongue movement for being too Black middle class all while Ice Cube himself was doing a disservice to the Black community for relying on poverty as a marker of Black identity, Camp Lo simply doesn't care. They are from the Bronx and give praise to the barrio and the boutique; something far more representative in 21st century identity politics than the socio-cultural allegiances of rappers Camp Lo came in the game with. Ahead of their time anyone?   

3. Presentation. In a recent interview, rapper/singer Cee-Lo explained that contemporary music is boring because showmanship is long gone. He believes its the performers responsibility to take the listening experience of music one step further through costume and movement. Camp Lo embodies those sentiments. In the midst of gangster rap (1996), Camp Lo set themselves a part from the pack by wearing red leather Reebok high-tops, cowboy hats, fur coats, and round sunglasses. Their presentation personified their slang. Though their live shows do need improvement, Sonny Cheeba raps with a tooth pick in his mouth and obscenely large belt buckle.      

4. Reverence for the Meretricious* From Cadillac Allante's, Martini & Rossi Asti Spumante Champagne, "slime ball jheri curls," and getting ice rock gritty with a woman named Krystal Karrington, The Lo makes the mundane and tacky seem priceless. They reference items easier to relate too (unless you own a G5) as well as praise the passé; valuing yesterday's forgotten trends, transporting the listener back to the Ali/Frazier fight where fur coats reigned.   

*Meretricious: a. attracting attention in a vulgar manner, b. superficially or garishly attractive

5. Dedication to an Idea. For 15 years Camp Lo has remained loyal to a motiff, an idea. When artists commit to an idea their personal identities aren't necessary. I have never thought of Geechi Suede or Sonny Cheeba's personal lives because their characters come off more appealing and grandiose. Kanye West probably can't decipher when Kanye the artist ends and Kanye the person begins, thus we get temper tantrums. On the contrary, when people hear Luchini, it evokes a feeling not a self serving accomplishment on behalf of the artist. Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people. I think Camp Lo's music encapsulates a a wealth of ideas presented in beautifully gaudy packaging.   

With your newly acquired analysis, enjoy the music. Diamond Delegates signing off.



Posted: Sunday, July 24, 2011 | | Labels: , , , 0 comments


If Downtime 2 had an acoustic theme and 3 was more electric, I'd have to say Downtime 4 is obscure. With music from Nigeria to Brazil, genere's spanning from afro-beat, hip-hop, jazz, house, and more, Downtime 4 is an amalgamation of sounds one wouldn't normally hear paired together. Peace.  

1. Massive Attack (Vibeangel Mix 1) - Flying Lotus | 2. Air ft. MF Doom (Geteye Remix) - Dabrye | 3. Blackfire - Madlib | 4. Orere Elejigbo - Lijadu Sisters | 5. No Particular One - Theophilus London | 6. Democ£stico - Marcos Valle | 7. Mother's Day - Aleke Kanonu | 8. The Gigolo and I - Dr. Buzzard's Original Savannah Band | 9. Original Radio Spot Claudean - Claudean Movie Trailer | 10. No Hook (Ambassadors Theme) Ft. Pete Rock | 11. On Point Remix - Trademark Skydiver x Young Roddy x Curren$y | 12. Stay True - Ghostface Killah | 13. Original Radio Spot Young Blood - Young Blood Movie Trailer | 14. Troptikal (SS) - Mndsgn | 15. Classic ft. Talib Kweliw - MED | 16. Sustas - Mndsgn | 17. Full Moon - Noñameko | 18. Return From The Ashes - John Dankworth | 19. By Your Side (CottonBelly Mix) - Sade | 20. Everybody Loves the Sunshine - Seu Jorge & Almaz | 21. Soundgirl Personal - Fat Jon The Ample Soul Physician | 22. Light To Dark - Jesse Boykins III | 23. Return To The Journey -Thundercat | 24. Red Light - Fatima feat. Floating Points



Posted: Tuesday, June 7, 2011 | | Labels: , , , , , 0 comments

He's back. For now. Produced by Kanye! And Consequence?



Posted: Wednesday, June 1, 2011 | | Labels: , , 0 comments

The Weeknd can't sing but the echo/reverb effect they use creates an interesting experience. Very movie like. I figure this effect will take the place of auto tune.





Posted: Saturday, May 28, 2011 | | Labels: , , , 0 comments

Shabazz Palaces is the future of music in my regard. They are like if Camp Lo, J Dilla, Radiohead, A Morrish Temple, and Eugene McDaniels (please research) ever made it to outer space together. Oh yeah, and Leon Thomas. Their ability to create scattered dystopian and ambient soundscapes coupled with jotted yet poignant lyrics is one aspect of their appeal (think Samuel L Jackson's character in Do The Right Thing rapping over Flying Lotus meets london garage beats). The other component, is their pastiche of afro/arab imagery. It creates a postmodern multimedia experience where the listener/viewer is given a canvas where they wrestle with their interpretation of what they are experiencing. Its kind of a subdued Public Enemy. Preachy but not to preachy. Weird but not Odd Future weird.

  Shabazz Palaces - Lost Foundling by subpop



Old but been on repeat.



1st, I want to thank folks for the response I have been getting from the Downtime mixes. I've always accumulated a ton of music but only shared them minimally with folks. Expect more concept mixtapes in the future where I pair sound with design.

As for Downtime 3, I wanted to go in the opposite direction of Downtime 2. Whereas 1 was a mix of electric, low-fi, soul, and sample based Hip-Hop, and Downtime 2 being a mix of acoustic and stripped music, I wanted 3 to be more electric and harder than 2 yet not diverge from the subtleness that Downtime is known for. That's it. Peace.

1. Running - Gil Scott-Heron And Jamie XX // 2. Wildfire feat. Little Dragon - SBTRKT // 3. Free Press and Curl - Shabazz Palaces // 4. And We Gonna (Samiyam Chopsticks Remix) - Shigeto // 5. Embody - SebastiAn // 6. Ascension (Remix) - Maxwell // 7. Peace - Carlitta Durand // 8. Løb Stop Stå (feat. Coco O.) - Boom Clap Bachelors // 9. Don't Look Back - Telepopmusik feat Angela McCluskey // 10. Hoping Will Only Take You So Far - B.Lewis // 11. No Idea's Original (14KT Remix) - Nas // 12. Zambony (Remix) - K-OS // 13. Hear You Say (featuring Khari Mateen) - Money Making Jam Boys // 14. Magikbullet - Mndsgn/ 15. The Verge - Kenton Dunson / 16. I Mind - James Blake / 17. What You Need - The Weekend // 18. LucidAgain - B.Lewis // 19. Purple Pills (Sleeping Pills Remix) - Peter Hadar // 20. Manifestations - Mono/Poly // 21. Tiger Eyes (Laid Back) - Peaking Lights



Youth Speaks just sent me an anthology of poems and given their 15th Annual Teen Poetry is happening this Friday, I had to post. Youth Speaks is a pioneering youth poetry organization based in San Francisco but has chapters nationally as well as an international base of poets and fans. Check what they have to say about the mix and if you are in the Bay, check out the slam this Friday at Davies Symphony Hall.
Youth Speaks’ 15th Annual Teen Poetry Slam takes place Friday, May 20, 2011 at the historic Davies Symphony Hall in San Francisco. As a way to show our appreciation, we are offering a free download letting fans experience the first poems to come out of Youth Speaks. Download and come hear the next generation of Youth Poetry Friday at Davies Symphony Hall. This anthology features amazing pieces by Okechuku, Sailor Jay, Marc Bamuthi Joseph, Eddie Monroe, April Hale, Saul Williams, Taz Shirota, Molly Rainor, Rafi, Kinich Coda, Aya De Leon, Tim Arevalo, Biko Eisen-Martin, Beau Sia, and more.

Tickets are still available. Get them while you can. Purchase HERE. Also, with the ticket stub you get into the after party for free where Will.I.Am is DJ'ing. Personally, I am a Will.I.AM fan especially pre "Where is the Love" Will.I.AM, but even after Fergie-Gate he still made dope beats. My friend once saw him spin at his house and when someone bumped the table, he made a beat out of the skip. That has to account for something.



Posted: Sunday, April 17, 2011 | | Labels: , , , , 0 comments

Zo! & Phonte ft. Tigallo the Tay God – Return Of The Mack

I release Downtime 2: Acoustic today and later in the day this comes out. Hilarious and amazing cover. He pays homage to Lil B and the Geto Boys at the end. I want to perform this at some recreation center event for some reason.