Book of Rhymes: Lo Life An American Classic

Posted On Wednesday, January 25, 2017

My name is Kil...and I'm an addict. It all started my freshmen year at Morgan State. One of the first people I met was my dude K Polo from the Bronx. Dude had the ill Geo Tracker (yeah, in '92 a geo tracker was the shit) and was always blasting whatever was the dopest mixtapes that was on tap but what stood out to me about dude was that he rocked NOTHING but Polo. And I don't mean a hoodie here and a shirts there. I'm talking shirts, hoodies, sweatshirts, jackets, coats, hats, socks, boots, umbrellas, book bags, etc. etc. Now growing up in Philly I never really saw cats rock Lo like that. I remember back when I would stay in Brooklyn for the summer, my cousin ran with this cat Alex who rocked nuthin but Lo but at that time the Lo didn't "speak to me" like that. But by the time I got to Morgan, it was a wrap cause the Lo was mos def speaking to me now! All my peoples from NYC were rocking Lo but outside K Polo my peoples the Minion Crew were the most influential cats on my Lo addiction. Everybody in their crew rocked Lo and I do mean EVERYBODY! I remember taking pics with these dudes and I was just happy to have a Lo hat on trying to keep up with them!  In college, I was literally running any and every scam to get my hands on some Lo. Hell, I damn near got kicked outta college for doing some ole behind the back, no look pass type scams...all for the love of the Lo.

The Minion Crew
As time went on my love affair with Lo dipped off once cats like Russell kicked open the door for urban brands with Phat Farm cause I wanted to support these new school hip hop brands like Mecca, Akademics, PNB, etc. etc. but I quickly realized that these street brands eventually get played out and then you're left with a closet full of clothes you can't rock anymore. So fast forward a LONG minute (I'm talking 10 years) and I'm in Philly shooting a video with my peoples Driz Lo and Clev One (who both rock NOTHING but Lo) and it hit me...why am I spending all this money on gear that gets played out every 2-3 years when Lo has stood the test of time? Cause trust, if you pull out pics from any black college homecoming from '92 to now, the only 2 mainstays you'll see in those pics are Jordans and Lo. So like East Orange's favorite son once said, once again it's on! So for the past 5 years I've been buying Lo like like a crackhead needs a hit. Or like an alcoholic needs a drink. And trust, it doesn't help that they just opened a Lo outlet that just happens to be on my way home from my gig either. So after that 2 paragraph soliloquy on why I LOVE Lo so much it shouldn't come as a surprise that when I found out a book dropped on the history of Brooklyn's Lo Life crew that it got copped just as fast as me chopping a sample in the maschine right?

To be honest, I can't begin to tell you how dooooooope this book is! I don't know if I'm in an 80's nostagia mood with this jawn and Wax Poetic's Ain't No Half Steppin' about the good ole days at NYC's Latin Quarters (peep my review for that here) but there's no way you can be a Lo head and not only read this book but you gotta own it! Rack Lo did the perfect job of setting the scene of Brooklyn, NYC in the 80's and breaking down how he went from a kid about to go to school with the rich famous to being one of the founding fathers of one of NYC's most infamous crews the Lo Lifes. One of the dopest thing about the book (and there are A LOT of dope things about this book) is hearing stories from various crew members with everybody from Shillz Da Realz, Prance Lo and B Bob Lo to Fi Lo, Thurston Howl III & Bek Live and their take on how things went down from their perspective and their own personal history of falling in love with the Lo. Not to mention you get first hand stories about the boostin' OG's of the Lo Life crew like Boostin' Billy aka Shiesty Lo, Thurston Howl and Bek Live. Plus the pictures in this book  is like a museum of some of the some of the DOPEST Lo pieces EVER made! I'm talking about everything from the cookies, crests and the scribble to the flag, teddies, the indian head and the infamous suicide ski coat that if you weren't running with somebody strapped in the 90's you were mos def getting that jawn right up off you, not now but right now like Phife said! But the DOOOOOPEST thing about the book IMO is all of the old polaroids of the crew showing cats reppin' their Lo from back in the late 80's/early 90's & if you're a Lo head nuthin' is more classic that!

One of the dopest thing I think a dope book can do is to take you to another place. Whether it's transporting you to what's going on in the book or taking you on a trip down memory lane and that's EXACTLY what Lo Life An American Classic did for me. It was crazy because each page took me back to Philly in '88 when I was a freshmen in high school. Rack Lo's stories reminded me of when my pop wasn't buying me anything fly to sport to school and since I wasn't going to school looking like no poo putt, I had to hit the streets to do what I had to do to make sure I was fly. Now don't get it twisted, I wasn't robbing people at Broad & Olney or City Hall or nuthin' like that but trust and believe, I was knee deep in a 'lil bit of any and everything else that could keep me fly. And that need to be fly that started almost 30 years ago is STILL in me to this day and it's just as strong as ever! It's like I said when I first started this review, my name is Kil and I'm an addict. The only problem is my addiction for Lo isn't going any where any time soon. So ya'll can let my friends & family know they can save their time and breath with any interventions they got planned for me cause it ain't gonna work cause I'm rocking Lo for life.

5 outta 5 mics

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