In Memoriam Camu Tao (1977 – 2008)

Genau vor einem Jahr habe ich es gebloggt. Camu Tao ist tot.


Hier nochmals als Gedenken einige Worte von den DefJux-Kollegen und Freunden El-P, Cage und Aesop Rock.

El-P – “Camu Who We Loved“:

I remember the day camu told me he had cancer. when i started choking on my own tears he went out of his way to console me. “im not going to die, el. im gonna be ok, man. i am not going to die”… and he didnt. for a year and change camu survived in the face of what we later learned was a cancer so advanced that the doctor gave him 2 weeks to live.

he never said anything to us about that. he never let on at any time that his very existence over that last year and a half of his life was essentially a miracle. i wonder sometimes if the tables were turned on me if i would be that brave and that proud. i dont know.

within about a week after he got out of the hospital we all found our way out to ohio to be with our friend. aesop was there already, yak and i hopped on a plane to join and cage got in his van and drove out. no one was particularly looking forward to that little trip. not only were we going to see our dying best friend (now ravaged by the side effects of his disease and the treatment for it) but also i remember at the time there was some distance and some tension between some of us. in fact, chris and i hadnt been on speaking terms for a few months. we had gotten in to an argument that seemed to just never get settled. there had also been some residual tension between me and aes. the kind of unspoken discomfort that family members have that just sort of carries on. the kind that starts small and eventually works its way in to the fabric of a friendship without even really being acknowledged. camu knew this, too.

earlier that day camu had me and yak roll with him to some mall and help him pick up a new kitchen table. here was our boy now weighing probably little more than a hundred pounds running around the mall in search of the perfect kitchen table. it seemed weird.

before i knew it we were all together for the first time in a minute sitting in camus kitchen with him and his fiance (and dear friend) gail. aes had been there for a week already and had to leave that morning. but me, yak and cage were there now and mu had us all putting together this new table. seems simple enough. 3 grown men should be able to put together a table. of course this was one of those tables that was clearly designed by some sort of ex natzi war criminal scientist. the kind that comes with 28 unique individual screws, clips and bolts that no tool other than the miniscule one provided can service. after not really talking for over two months we were being forced by camu to act as a unit and put this god forsaken table together. we had no choice. you cant tell the dude with cancer you dont feel like putting his kitchen table together.

later that night me and mu took a drive. he looked at me with a smirk and said “that was good. i knew that would be good for you guys. thats why i got the table”.

camus strength and control in his life had been reduced in almost every way. all he had left was his beautiful spirit and heart and this awful disease. this was a dude who could lift you off your feet and throw you in to a tree if he wanted and now he could barely walk. beyond that he secretly knew that the odds of him living for another month were bad to say the least. and yet he used the one thing that was destroying him as a vehicle to heal the people he cared about. to bring us together the way we needed to be. to let go of the petty things that camu at that point in his life couldnt even fathom being important. to this day our crew has been the tightest its ever been. for our brother. for you, mu.

this was his departing gift to us. yeah he was erractic at times as anyone would be if they had to go through what he did. he was also often incredibly angry, lashing out at the people around him frequently and feeling very hurt by many people in his life. the pain and anger of having his life kidnapped from him made him incredibly emotional and even at times bitter.

but the true nature of forgiveness, healing and love coursed through his veins even at his most fragile and weak… and thats why i try to forgive now instead of holding on to my anger. thats why i look at the lost friendships in my life with sadness now instead of hurt or anger. thats why i understand that as hard as it may be to let go of pride and indignation, its the right thing to do. and as offended or hurt i might feel by the way things have gone down in this very complicated life its nothing compared to the love i’ve felt in my heart… even for people who i dont call my friends any more. its a hard thing sometimes to remember. but i am trying and will continue to.

because i want to be like camu.
camu who we loved.
rest in peace
love, jaime

Cage – “Remembering Camu Tao“:

May 25th 2008 I got a call informing me Tero had passed away. I had just spoken to him days before this call.We were working via phone on a song he produced for me(Follow the Bleeder)I could hear he was in the hospital and I asked him if he was alright and he said he wasn’t feeling well and just had to get some things checked out.”Don’t worry”he said”I will be okay, I will talk to you later when I get out of here.”That was the last thing Camu ever said to me.

Life hasn’t been the same.He was my closest friend.I spoke to him more than I spoke to anyone in life.I am still bitter and everything has lost it’s flavor no matter how surreal everything is right now.And I know he would be jumping up and down saying ‘YEAH WE DID IT” (something he would always say whether or not it had anything to do with him)He had the ability to celebrate the smallest accomplishments and get me in hysterics about anything.He helped me in music and more importantly he helped me in life.He was a beautiful person with an effortless talent and I know people throw the word genius around loosely to compliment each other or in some cases themselves but TERO SMITH WAS A MUSICAL GENIUS.I miss him very much and I will never be the same again.I think of him everyday.

Rest In Peace brother.

Listen to Camu Tao songs all day today and remember.
I listen to Camu Tao songs everyday and so should you.


Aesop Rock – “Couch Boys“:

one night me and camu made a whole album on garage band called “couch boys”. we made all the tracks on the spot (sitting on a couch) and freestyled everything, making the rule “you must keep your first take” which made the outcome even more horrifying. essentially just a night of uber-nonsense from some pals. i uploaded the track “couch boys” from this session. the quality is poor, but it is what it is. really makes me remember an awesome time in my life. camu tao was my best friend.



So, und wer bis hier in gelesen hat wird auch noch (2dopeboyz sei Dank) mit einem “R.I.P. Camu Tao Mixtape” belohnt.


1. camu tao – you hear me talking to you (2001)
2. camu tao – wireless (2001)
3. camu tao – plot for-a-little (2007)
4. cage ft. el-p aesop rock tame one & yak ballz – left it to us (prod camu tao) (2005)
5. weathermen – gut you (2003)
6. copywrite ft. camu tao & form one-three poisonous darts (2003)
7. vast aire ft. masai bey camu tao, el-p and copywrite-same as it never was (2001)
8. el-p ft camu tao-jukie skate rock (2004)
9. yak ballz ft camu tao- mic fight
10. mhz- magnetics (1999)
11. sa smash-devil in the hole (2004)
12. camu tao & dj przm-hold the floor (2001)
13. el-p & camu tao-wmr (2004)
14. prefuse 73 feat camu tao-now you’re leaving (2005)
15. tame 1, copywrite, j-zone, cage, mr. eon, skillz & camu tao – eastern conference all stars (2001)
16. copywrite-ft camu tao tage proto-three words (2002)
17. slow suicide stimulus ft camu tao- cutty sharks (2006)
18. vast aire featuring camu tao & copywrite-watch your mouth (2003)
19. cage and camu-night hawks (2002)
20. blockhead feat aesop rock & camu tao – jet son (2004)

DOWNLOADR.I.P Camu Tao Mixtape ( Link)