Who: Camp Lo & Ra the Rugged Man
When: Sunday, Oct. 12, 9 p.m.
Admission: $15 in advance at Billabong and The Circle
The soulful hip hop stylings of Sonny Cheeba (Salahadeen Wilds)
and Geechi Suede (Saladine Wallace) are recognizable to any diehard old school
hip hop fan. And this week, the duo, best known as Camp Lo, brings their
distinct sound to Whistler.
But earlier this week, they were in a studio in North Carolina,
working with the Apple Juice Kid.
“Doin’ this quick EP or whatever,” Cheeba trailed off.
The two first met up in 1995, through a mutual friend.
“Actually, Lana, I went to school with her — she lived on
(Suede’s) block and we had the same name, so she introduced us ’cause I thought
I was the only one,” Cheeba recalled. “And then I see him coming down to the
block, and we became cool off the namesake.”
Suede was working as a solo artist when Cheeba came into the
picture. At first, he just used Cheeba as a sounding board to bounce his lyrics
and music off of.
“I was just listening to it, saying if I liked it or not, you
know what I mean? Sometimes I gave him records or whatever, but I wasn’t
rhymin’,” Cheeba said. “Then one day, he was like, ‘You wanna rhyme, B?’ I
said, ‘Sure, I’ll try anything once.’”
Their sound and approach to hip hop worked well together, and
the pair started to get serious about their music.
“Basically, when we’re in the studio, we’ve got different
ideas, but collectively, they’re the same thing, plus we always try and think
of what we haven’t done, and what’s not out at the time,” Cheeba explained.
“…We don’t want it to be the same ol’ same.”
Growing up in the Bronx, the musical style and lyrical content
of Camp Lo is strongly influenced by the pair’s roots. But the hip hop-rich
community also forced them to make their sound original.
“As far as being that we’re from the Bronx, we had to keep it
creative and new, being as that’s the birthplace,” Cheeba explained.
They decided to take an entirely new approach — after
all, they wanted to stand out from the rest. Well, their music definitely isn’t
your modern-day mainstream hip hop.