Aside from the horn-induced insta-feel-good vibes “Luchini” is regarded for, Camp Lo's debut album, Uptown Saturday Night, is an intoxicating blend of swift rhymes, eternally catchy hooks, and a 1970s soul sonic palette crafted by legendary producer Ski Beatz. Even though nowadays no fucks are given to rappers donning kilts, dresses and Hooter’s outfits, Sonny Cheeba and Geechi Suede were unfortunate victims of a different time and amid baseless accusations of homosexuality, Camp Lo never achieved the musical plateaus that their talent demanded. Five quiet years later Camp Lo and Ski Beatz returned with Let’s Do It Again, a painfully unimaginative attempt to copy the Soul-Meets-Hip-Hop vein they had so expertly achieved prior.

Ever since their 80 Blocks From Tiffany’s mixtape series with Pete Rock proved Camp Lo’s creativity didn’t die on the sophomore slump cutting room floor, the demand for another prime Camp Lo release has been a reality in underground hip-hop circles. But on Ragtime Hightimes, the duo alternate between engaging and directionless content, sometimes amounting to baffling miscues. “Black Jesus” is a strong start to a disorderly album, a track that features Cheeba and Suede in their default state. As evidenced on Uptown Saturday Night, the duo have a knack for lyrically building off each other, oftentimes finishing each other’s sentences, enunciating certain words for max effect and using clever alliteration for a style all their own. “Sunglasses” is another exemplary showcase of rhyme-slaying, and features a nostalgic instrumental from Ski Beatz.

The monotonous chorus of “It’s Cold” can be easily forgiven by possibly the finest lyrical display by Cheeba and Suede on Ragtime Hightimes. “You” similarly spends a minute too long on ho-hum harmonizing, eventually leading up to flashy, penetrating flows. But the dance-oriented “Power Man” is an abrupt departure with no merits to stand on and, checking in at only 1:50, it’s difficult to decipher what its intended function is. The dumbed-down rhymes of “Sunshine” don't suit the band at all and what results is a pop-sounding throwaway without the lyrical finesse of their past hits.

The official single, “Bright Lights,” is a modern introduction to what Camp Lo and Ski Beatz are capable of when clicking on full throttle. A smooth melody and even smoother flows would account for the consummate experience if not for a lackluster hook. On “Life I Love” Camp Lo abandon the joy ride for talk of ski masks and guns over a bass-heavy Ski Beatz instrumental that is reminiscent of the golden age sound with the duo exhibiting almost impeccable flow patterns.

No one is asking Camp Lo to please a generation currently captivated by the likes of Kendrick Lamar, J. Cole and Drake. But their strong releases in the past decade, coupled with flashes of their lyrical wizardry on their latest release, prove that the band’s legendary status is well-earned. But when regarding legends with a firm understanding of their ingenuity, mishaps emerge as calamities on a higher-weighted scale. On Ragtime Hightimes, there are far too many tracks with wasted potential, leading to inevitable thoughts of what could’ve been. —Kellan Miller