Live Concert Photography: Digable Planets with Camp Lo at BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival at Prospect Park Bandshell 7/30/16
Comprised of Seattle, WA-born Ishmael “Butterfly” Butler, Silver Spring, MD-born Mary Ann “Ladybug Mecca” Viera and Philadelphia, PA-born Craig “Doodlebug” Irving, the members of Digable Planets can trace their origins to when the then-New York-based Butler was interning at New York-based label, Sleeping Bag Records. At the time, Butler used to visit his grandmother in Philadelphia, when he met Irving, who was a member of an Dread Poets Society. With a completed lineup of Butler, Viera and Irving, the trio signed to Pendulum Records in 1992 before relocating to New York and releasing their critically and commercially successful debut full-length 1993 debut Reachin’ (A New Refutation of Time and Space), which had their crossover hit “Rebirth of Slick (Cool Like Dat),” which peaked at number 15 on the Billboard singles charts, earned gold certification by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and won a Grammy for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group.
The trio’s sophomore effort Blowout Comb was a stark sonic and thematic departure from their debut as it made overly political references to the Black Panthers, featured Communist imagery and featured guest spots to Jeru the Damaja, Sulaiman and Gang Starr’s GURU among others before splitting up in 1995 due to “creative differences.”
By 2005, the trio briefly reunited and embarked on a reunion tour, which was followed by the release of the Beyond the Spectrum: The Creamy Spy Chronicles compilation which featured previously released material with remixes and B-sides. Between 2009-2011 Butler and Irving toured with a live band across the US, Canada and Europe with a live band the Cosmic Funk Orchestra, and included Camp Lo and Butler’s current musical project Shabazz Palaces as openers while doing an occasional reunion run — which even included the rumored release of a new single and album.
To celebrate the upcoming 25th anniversary of the release of the members of Digable Planets have been on a reunion tour throughout 2016, which included a stop at BRIC, Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival at Prospect Park last Saturday — and I was there to cover it.
(Photo Caption: Digable Planets performing at BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival at Prospect Park last week.)
Comprised of Salahadeen Wilds, a.k.a. Sonny Cheeba and Saladine Wallace, a.k.a. Geechi Seude, Bronx, NY-based duo Camp Lo is perhaps best known for their 1997 crossover hit “Luchini (AKA This Is It),” a single that broke into the Top 50 on the Billboard Top 100 and the top 5 on the Hot Rap Singles chart before releasing their critically applauded and commercially successful 1997 debut effort, Uptown Saturday Night, which was produced by renowned producer Ski Beatz and featured guest spots from Digable Planets’ Ishmael “Butterfly” Butler, De La Soul‘s Trugoy and others. And a a result, they’ve also collaborated with De La Soul, Oran “Juice” Jones, Will Smith and Aesop Rock among others.
(Photo Caption: Camp Lo performing at BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival at Prospect Park last week.)