The song was produced by up-and-coming producer Ski Beatz and used a sample of Dynasty's 1980 song "Adventures in the Land of Music". Ski was an early Jay-Z collaborator. At the time that he was called to work on Jay-Z's debut, Reasonable Doubt, he'd already been hard at work on Camp Lo's debut album, Uptown Saturday Night. Some of the beats from that album went to Jay-Z ("Feelin' It"), an absolute banger and one of Jay-Z's best tracks ever-
but "Luchini" was kept in Camp Lo's possession, and the BX duo will forever be remembered for it.
(Sidebar - imagine if things had reversed and Camp Lo received "Feelin It" and Jay-Z had got this beat?
Complex- "[The album] was basically done but we needed one more song to make a single and bring the album together. So it was crunch time. And I got that Dynasty sample [“Adventures in the Land of Music”] and I said, ‘This is it, this is the one for them.’ I wrote the hook in my house.
I played it over the phone for Suede, and he said, ‘Yo, I gotta come hear that in person.’ He came by the house with Cheeba, they wrote it that night, laid it down, and took it to Profile. They loved it and they had us in the studio. Next thing you know, it was all over the place.
The thing for everybody I was working with…Biggie heard ‘Luchini’ and he was like, ‘Come on, man, I need a beat from you.’ Once Jay heard it, he was like, ‘Come on, man, what the fuck?’" - Ski Beatz
The sample of Dynasty's 'Adventures in the Land of Music' in Camp Lo's Luchini may not be transformative, but there's no denying just how catchy it is, and sometimes that's all it takes. It's also worth noting that the tempo drags a good 5 to 10 bpm below the average for the period, and while downtempo club cuts are the norm nowadays, this track was unusually slow for a track with club credentials in its time.
OkayPlayer-Rather than describe themselves as being “faded” the group uses “Luchini” to refer to their euphoric state of being as “Harlem River Quiver,” a reference to the dizzying 1928 Duke Ellington song of the same name. The idea of possessing “Belafonte Vigga” levels of swag, meanwhile, is a loving reference to the fabled strength of legendary actor and civil rights activist Harry Belafonte.
Across the song’s breezy four minutes, Sonny and Geechi rap about being fly in a way that’s never anything less than innovative. However, it’s Ski’s perfect beat that inspires such brilliant rapping. “We had basically finished [Uptown Saturday Night] and Profile Records felt we were missing a single and needed something for the radio so I went into the lab for a week and just started digging through the crates,” Ski said.
“Soon as I dropped the needle on that Dynasty song (‘Adventures in the Land of Music’) and heard those horns, I knew I had found something special. Luchini was slang for money and having wealth, and something that the guys said a lot, so I built it into the hook. Soon as the guys heard my hook, we knew this was unique. The reason I say ‘This is It’ like I did was because I just knew we had found Gold.”
SAMPLE - Dynasty - Adventures In The Land Of Music
“Once you find that magic sample, the rest is easy,” Ski said. “I added the drums from ‘All Night Long‘ (by The Mary Jane Girls) to make it sound more disco, a little bit of piano, and then I made the sample sound more bling. I’m not a looper kind of person, but that loop was just so perfect. The way the sample comes in, well, it didn’t have a down beat, so I had to bring it in on the snare. It just made it all sound extra cool.”
SAMPLE - The Mary Jane Girls - All Night Long
(You might recognize this song from GTA Vice City)
Ski is on the record stating that Camp Lo could have achieved fame like Outkast, but that their label, La Face, dropped the ball big time. They shelved a lot of their projects and put them on the back burner and all the momentum they had with "Luchini" dried up.
They completely changed the style of New York rap and lyricism. Rappers like Ghostface and Raekwon adopted their crazy coded slang style and ran with it.
Ski said "These guys changed the whole lyrical landscape of ‘90s rap. We were going to put out a dictionary with their album, just so people could understand them more, but it never happened. They were in their own world completely. Hell, they still are.”