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Music / Cameo

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L-to-R: Aaron Mills, Tomi Jenkins, Larry Blackmon, Anthony Lockett, and Jeff Nelson
If there's music we can use it if we need to dance,
We don't have the time for psychological romance,
No romance, no romance, no romance for me, mamma,
Come on, baby, tell me what's the word!
— "Word Up"

Not to be confused with The Cameo, Cameo are a Funk-Soul band from New York City. Led by Larry Blackmon, they started in 1974 as the New York City Players before changing their name to Cameo to avoid being confused with the Ohio Players. The group has gone through many lineup changes over the years, with Blackmon being the one constant. Among their most famous songs are "Word Up!," "Candy", and "She's Strange".

Trope Up, up, everybody say, when you hear that call you've got to get it underway!

  • Early-Installment Weirdness: Cameo in the late Seventies relied on a lot more Parliament/Funkadelic-style funk than the Funk/R&B hybrid that was heard in "Word Up" Nearly 9 years later.
  • Dance Sensation: "Shake Your Pants".
  • Dedication: She's Strange is dedicated to the late Polygram A&R representative Bill Haywood.
  • Live Album: Several, starting with 1996's Nasty.
  • Memetic Hair: Absolutely. The Cameo cut, also known as the Hi-Top Fade, was hugely influential in the 1980s and early 1990s.
  • Product Placement: "Shake Your Pants" mentions the brands Sassoon, Jordache and Gloria Vanderbilt.
  • Protest Song
    • "Talkin' Out the Side of Your Neck" calls out Ronald Reagan.
    • "Skin I'm In" attacks racial profiling.
  • Revolving Door Band: 26 members, not counting touring extras, over a nearly 40-year existence.
  • Serious Business: As they say in "Word Up": "We don't have the time for psychological romance"
  • Sexiness Score: In "She's Strange", the appearance subject of the song is described numerically.
    She's a 9, a 10, a 25th.
  • Shout-Out: "Tribute to Bob Marley".
  • Silly Love Songs: "She's Strange", "Attack Me With Your Love", "Why Have I Lost You", "Hangin' Downtown", etc.
  • Token White: Of the main lineup, Jeff Nelson is the only member who is white, with the others being black.
  • Verbal Tic: "Owwww!"