For Throwback Thursday, I decided to pay homage to Pete Rock and CL Smooth. I was fortunate enough to watch Pete Rock open for Classified (yea that’s what we do in Toronto have hip-hop legends open at concerts, smh). I also recently caught him as the DJ for Nas’ last performance (until his new album drops) at York University. To my utter amazement, the crowd response for Pete was fantastic. I was surprised because both crowds were predominantly teens and young adults, so I assumed they would not be familiar with his plethora of tracks. Well when Pete ran tracks such as “The Creator”,” Mecca and the Soul Brother”, “Straighten It Out” and “I Got A Love”, the crowd stood still… What? Were they not familiar with these classics?

I was disappointed but, not surprised. Many people don’t do the research. I figure if you love a genre you educate yourself about it! When I was young I quickly recognized that hip-hop did not start in the early 90’s, so I did my research and learned about Afrika Bambaataa & The Soul Sonic Force, Whodini, RUN-D.M.C., Eric B. & Rakim, MC Lyte, Boogie Down Productions, Queen Latifah, Big Daddy Kane, Gang Starr, Biz Markie, Ultramagnetic MC’s and the list goes on and on. Everything has a past or a beginning so take the time to investigate. Yes, that means utilizing Google. Shoot, Google didn’t even exist when I was growing up, so I had to research the old fashioned way, library, record stores and word of mouth. I was pleased, however, that the youngins at least recognized and cheered for Pete Rock when he jumped on stage. They were also very familiar with “They Reminisce Over You (T.R.O.Y.)” off the Mecca and the Soul Brother album.

Pete Rock and CL Smooth were my favourite hip-hop duo and I was crushed when they broke up after 1994’s Main Ingredient. Both Mecca and the Soul Brother and The Main Ingredient were masterfully crafted and deserve their rightful spot as being classic hip-hop albums. The interludes alone on both albums are timeless classics. After approximately 18 years, Pete Rock and CL ended their creative differences and reunited. The fact that Guru and DJ Premier had not been on speaking terms for several years and the death of Guru was the catalyst in reuniting the two. I feel it’s inevitable that the two will continue to build on their reunification and produce another classic album in the near future.

Here are a few of my favourite Pete Rock and CL videos:





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