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Music / Cameo

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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."

As usual, you can find the basics at The Other Wiki.

"Trope Up, up, everybody say, when you hear that call you've got to get it under way":

  • But Not Too Black: Larry Blackmon hated when people referred to his band as funk, as he felt that, at the time at least, it was a label used to keep a lot of under-the-radar black acts from crossover success.
  • 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.
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  • Dance Sensation: "Shake Your Pants"
  • Dedication: She's Strange is dedicated to the late Polygram A&R representative Bill Haywood.
  • Heavy Meta: "Funk Funk"
  • I Am the Band
  • Iconic Outfit: Larry Blackmon's infamous codpiece.
  • "I Want" Song" "I Just Want to Be"
  • Intercourse with You: "Keep It Hot," etc.
  • Large Ham: Larry Blackmon
  • 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.
  • Neoclassical Punk Zydeco Rockabilly: In spades. On the one hand, their sound and style definitely fit under the category of funk and R&B, but there were elements of hard rock and synth pop in some of their later material. As mentioned above, Larry Blackmon didn't like how funk was used to dismiss black music from crossing over in the early 80s.
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  • 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"
  • 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.
  • Singer Namedrop: "Cameosis"
  • Verbal Tic: "Owwww!"

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