Camouflage Large Clique could have been big. Hailing from Brooklyn, the members (as far as I’m aware) were Razen Kane, Four Fif, Nine Lives, White Al, The Assassin, and 21 Gunz, at the time of their release there wasn’t much information about them, but when you heard their music it didn’t matter who they were or where they were from. Even to this day there’s not much information about them on the internet and I still don’t know for sure who the members were and what became of the group after their two vinyl releases. You can find what Drake’s shoe size is online but there’s no information on real Rappers, what a great source of knowledge the internet is. But I digress…
Like some of the best New York Hip-Hop, their first release was recorded at D&D Studios. Their 1996 12” contained the songs “Cocbacda 9” & “Hitmen Holdin’ Steel” and both tracks were great. Produced by E. Knight both joints were gritty and credible, and yet they were rarely aired on the radio. Aside from a few pirate radio stations, this record went largely unaired and received no reviews or marketing and because of this the group didn’t garner a big enough buzz to make it out of the underground.
In 1997 they dropped another 12” vinyl featuring the tracks “Regulate” ,“Hear Me Out”, and “Heavy Hitters”. Heavy Hitters in particular was a mellow yet rugged track, listening to it today takes me right back to the golden era.
Despite Heavy Hitters and Cocbacda 9 being some of the greatest hardcore Hip-Hop released during the late nineties, Camouflage Large Clique were never signed and they never released an album. This was indicative of the path Hip-Hop took during that period. Because of bad decisions by merging labels and uninformed A&R’s, only the most mediocre Rappers were given deals during that time and just look what the Hip-Hop genre looks and sounds like today thanks to those decisions. If groups like Camouflage Large were signed, then plugged by a label, given a music video or two, and aired on radio and television, Hip-Hop wouldn’t be in the state it’s in today.
Like most things great, Camouflage Large Clique (sometimes spelled Camouflage Large Click and sometimes misspelled Camoflauge Large) have been forgotten or outright ignored by the mainstream media, if you can find any of their 12-inches out there you should buy them and keep them as an example of real East-Coast Hip-Hop, because the history books won’t ever mention them when they misinform the masses about nineties music.