Camu Tao Gets His Due

The departed rapper's King of Hearts is hard to hear and harder to ignore

But it's the possibility of King of Hearts that stings most. Conceived in 2005, it foreshadowed rap's increasing tolerance of indie rock. "When Camu got sick, Gnarls Barkley came out," Cage recalls. "Everyone on the inside was like, 'Oh, shit, someone else is doing it.' "

"The fucked up thing is, if it had come out two years ago, it would have been unprecedented," says El-P, lighting a cigarette and settling into his booth. "Now, lots of people are making the transition [from rapping to singing]. You have Kid Cudi, who incorporated that. Camu couldn't have done this in the MHz days, and there are people now who won't accept him, but Camu wouldn't give a shit." He taps ash into his empty beer bottle. "I just wish Camu was here to see he was doing good."

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