In 1997, hip-hop was enjoying a unprecedented boom. For the better part of a decade, the genre had had been growing creatively and expanding commercially. New York rap had been enjoying four year post-G-Funk resurgence that had been highlighted by acclaimed debuts from iconic acts like Wu-Tang Clan, the Notorious B.I.G., Nas, and Jay Z, as well as landmark releases from Redman, A Tribe Called Quest and Mobb Deep, among others. 1997 opened with New York’s dominance firmly re-established.
While the year would come to be defined by the murder of the Notorious B.I.G., and the resulting “jiggy” shift in the wake of that tragedy, the debut album from Bronx duo Camp Lo, would follow a quirkier tradition; celebrating their refreshingly underground style and even flirting with the mainstream–courtesy of one of the greatest rap singles of all time.
Rappers Sonny Cheeba and Geechi Suede hailed from the mean streets of The Bronx, and were originally separate entities. Producer Ski Beatz introduced the two; soon thereafter, Geechi Suede, who had already been working under the tutelage of Ski, would begin to bounce ideas off of Sonny Cheeba, who was attending school in Virginia at the time.