While Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth’s musical partnership regrettably proved an ephemeral one, the dynamic Mount Vernon, NY duo’s collaborations from 1991 to 1994 yielded some of the most celebrated records in hip-hop history.
Affectionately known as the Chocolate Boy Wonder and Caramel King, the pair debuted in 1991 with their 6-track EP All Souled Out, featuring their debut single “The Creator,” which was unearthed to glorious effect in Android’s TV ad campaign this past year.
Comprised of crate-digger extraordinaire Pete Rock’s flawless, sample-heavy production and the sharp-witted C.L. Smooth’s commanding rhymes, their debut full-length LP, 1992’s Mecca And The Soul Brother, is universally regarded as the group’s paramount achievement.
Three singles were spawned from the album, including “Straighten It Out,” “Lots of Lovin,’” and the unforgettable classic “They Reminisce Over You (T.R.O.Y.),” a tribute to their late friend Troy “Trouble T Roy” Dixon of Heavy D & The Boyz. Beyond the official single releases, the album as a unified whole is one of the most expertly crafted hip-hop LPs ever created, predicated upon the perfect fusion of smooth, headnod-inducing soundscapes and introspective, conscientious storytelling.
The Boston-based Get On Down label is slated to reissue a limited edition run of Mecca And The Soul Brother on 180-gram clear-colored 2xLP vinyl on February 5th. So reserve your copy of this ageless hip-hop masterpiece…stat.