“Yeah, the Sonny Cheeba he be sipping Amaretta
The Geechie Grace, yes he be sipping Amaretta…” -Sonny Cheeba from “Luchini (This is it)
You can either copy the next man’s style and have a pseudo cool vibe…or you can do like Camp Lo and create your own damn style, complete with fresh lingo and throwback 70’s slang. Man, when I first heard Coolie High, I was floored like baseboards. What is this? I don’t know what they’re saying but I love this and need more of it in my life.
Back in my high school days and the early to mid 90’s in general, you could really come up on some good music by purchasing soundtrack albums. Think about it, there were some real gems on soundtracks to: Above the Rim, Menace II Society, Juice, High School High, Friday, Sunset Park…
The Great White Hype OST didn’t really have too many gems on it (though, I was feeling the Ambersunshower joint and of course Method Man’s classic) but it did introduce me to a duo known as Camp Lo. I had track 6 on that album on repeat, even repeated the repeat of the first five repeats while getting ready for school.
As much as I loved Coolie High, I couldn’t just settle for that one joint. I was anxiously awaiting a full length effort from these masters of cool. Lucky for me, I was traveling overseas at the same time that their follow-up single, and official anthem/classic-when-it-dropped, Luchini (This Is It) hit shelves. I was able to cop it before my stateside peeps were able to get their hands on it!
That was it! I was sold. Locked in. Wanting more. Dare I say, fiending for more.
I was NOT disappointed when Uptown Saturday Night finally dropped. I immediately dubbed a cassette copy just so I could be assured a listen under any circumstances (pre-MP3). If you don’t have or haven’t heard…get on that immediately.
As the spirit of Hip Hop would have it, last month Geechie Suede and Sonny Cheeba decided they would give us the gift of a 15th anniversary tour complete with a performance of their classic album in its entirety. Drawn in by this momentous occasion, my calendar was marked, Wallabees were buffed and ears were prepped to be met with the sounds of Uptown Saturday Night.
Sometimes when an artist passes through town we have a hard time trying to figure out what kind of gift we can share with them. Sometimes it’s easy. In the case of Camp Lo, the answer was in the lyrics…”yes, he be sippin’ Amaretta (or Amaretto for the rest of us).” You already know that the first lady of the Kitchenmix can concoct just about anything…
From The Homemade Pantry by Alana Chernila
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 vanilla bean
3 1/2 cups vodka
4 tablespoons almond extract
Combine the brown sugar with 1/2 cup of water in a small saucepan. Heat until the sugar is dissolved, then let cool.
Use a pairing knife to split the vanilla bean from one end to the other to expose the sticky seeds inside.
Pour the liquid into a bottle or jar, then add the split vanilla bean, vodka and almond extract. Top with the lid and shake to combine. The amaretto is ready to drink immediately but will get better with age.
You know how I was saying that these dudes come with fresh lingo and a 70’s slang style of rhyming? Well, they recently “decoded” the lyrics to Coolie High for those of us that know all the words but don’t know what they’re saying.