She Is Focused

May 1, 2009

Camp Lo Returns With ‘Stone And Rob’

Filed under: Interviews — Felicia @ 9:38 am

(Originally posted on BallerStatus.com)

Camp Lo Are Back, Older And Wiser
Posted on May 1, 2009, words by Felicia J. Barclay

When you come into the industry at a young age, it’s easy to get caught up in the hype, especially when you come with a new sound that brings with it a large following. When Sonny Cheeba and Geechie Suede, better known as Camp Lo, first emerged in ’97 with “Coolie High”, which appeared in The Great White Hype, the guys were taken aback by the sudden fame and exposure, and didn’t consider that there was also a business side they needed to learn as well. 

Sonny Cheeba & Geechie Suede

Sonny Cheeba & Geechie Suede

Suede says, “When we came into the business there were a lot of things that we didn’t maximize, that we’re maximizing now. As far as the way mainstream success affected us, we were just happy and ready to do the next joint.” The guys were simply enjoying their sudden limelight.

Following the success of their first introduction to the industry, The Lo soon released their debut Uptown Saturday Night to much acclamation. Their fusion of the ’70s era movement with hip-hop was a mix that no one else at that time had experimented with. That album spawned the hit records “Luchini (This Is It)” and “Killin’ Em Softly”. Although there were gaps in between follow-up albums, the guys still continued to tour, rarely taking breaks from recording new music. Suede recalls, “There’s never been a period where me and Chee didn’t record. We released Gotcha in 2005 and came with The Black Holly after that. Then, we were pretty much overseas after that. Cheeba adds, “It was so receptive over there, we didn’t know it existed. First of all, Japan — the kids had afros, fur collars and all that. It was a crazy look. We didn’t even know they could walk like that. And even over in Europe and all of them other spots, we seen cats dancing in a circle while we performing. In the crowd they b-boying while we performing. It was crazy.”

Talking to the guys whose latest mixtape, Stone And Rob Caught On Tape, is now available in stores, it’s pretty clear that they’ve still maintained their eccentricities and natural high when it comes to creating music, despite not being actively visible throughout the years. When asked if the mixtape followed the same theme as their previous releases, Cheeba explains, “Kinda and maybe not. We have some ’70s joints on there that people really lovin’. We also do some BX on there, the stuff that we like. So we threw music on there that we missing right now. Like we threw on ’89 and Crime’ on there, ‘Highs’ and all type of other types of stuff because we love that style of music, but we not getting it from nobody. We got some of that 70s and we got some of that BX on there.” The concept for the title of Stone And Rob came from the movie “Coolie High”, with Stone and Rob being the two main characters in the film. The Caught On Tape aspect was in regard to certain singles from the disk being leaked on the net.

The Bronx natives explained that although they had to add and delete certain songs from the album, they had most of the album on stash for a while. The remainder of the album was recorded within a couple of months with producer Ski, who has worked with them in the past, contributing to “Ticket For Two”.

At one point there was controversy over their name, when for a short time they decided to be known simply as The Lo. “That name change never came about because we always called ourselves The Lo. When we sent [“Love Me”] to Mr. Cee, he actually said we should change Camp Lo to The Lo and we was thinking ‘Alright let’s run with it.’ But we were not able to get that name because it was connected to somebody somewhere”, Cheeba explained. “I read on the blogs that people were saying we were trying to do another Uptown Saturday Night with Stone and Rob,” adds Suede.  “A lot of the fans were shook up behind that because they want you to stay the way they always loved you and it’s the reason why they fell in love with you.”

One of the most interesting stories about the two, which has rarely been talked about in the past, is how they came together. Suede had already been recording and working on a demo with Ski years ago and was introduced to Cheeba through a mutual friend. Chee would often critique Suede’s ideas and several months later, they decided to work together and had a demo put together. But initially, Chee wasn’t interested in rapping. “I wasn’t even thinking about rhyming before Suede asked if I wanted to rhyme. He was like ‘You ever thought about rhyming?’ And I said ‘Nah’, and then we got together and came up with a little plan and it worked out to be bananas”, Cheeba explains. Suede added that he saw potential in him and things worked out incredibly.

13 years later and The Lo is still making moves in the game. When asked about the highlight of the group’s career, Cheeba says, “I’m so humble in myself. Everything that comes with this is like fantasy land. What we really do is our music. We gonna continue to make the music that you can only get from Camp Lo.”

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