Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Time to pay homage to one of the greatest hip-hop producers of our time...Pete Rock a.k.a Peter Rockington! This post has been along time coming, but it definitely needed to be done. There aren't too many producers who's sound has actually influenced a generation like Pete Rock's has. Not only has he created some of the dopest beats that have ever invaded my ears, but his sound began a new era of beat patterns and production techniques. Pete Rock has an ear for unique sounds. He can take simple bell and horn sounds and turn them into hypnotic soundwaves that would definitely keep your head bobbing. Frankly speaking, Peter had the horn sample game on lock! Over the years many new producers have borrowed a page or two from Peter's book of production tricks. That's expected though, but don't be trying to steal my dude's steelo youngins. Get your own! My Top 5 greatest hip-hop producers list definitely includes DJ Premier, Marley Marl, Jay Dee and Dre, but Pete Rock holds the number one spot! That's not saying that he's better than the others, but his music has definitely influenced my love for hip-hop slightly more over the years. One common factor that my top five producers share is that they all were real deejays at one time or another. That means they understand the dynamics of how to put diverse records together to rock a party if need be, and their not just limited with abilities of beat making on a computer looping samples. These katz are the real deal. They definitely understand and appreciate the art form as well. Many of the new katz seem to only make beats because it can be lucrative more so than for the love of the art? That's the sad reality in 2007!

I still remember when Pete Rock and CL Smooth dropped their first EP "All Souled Out" back in 1991! I already knew of Pete Rock from his New York WBLS radio mix show endeavors with Marley Marl back in the late 1980s. When I finally put my ears on that EP, it was an mind altering experience for me. It was jazzy hip-hop bliss. I kept it in rotation for months, until there debut album "Mecca and The Soul Brother" was released in 1992. Now, that was a classic album in my book! Soon after that I started to notice Pete Rock was producing for everybody like Heavy D, AZ, Das EFX and K-Solo. Things were definitely looking up for Pete Rock & CL Smooth back then, so they released their second official album "The Main Ingredient" in 1994. Another hip-hop classic that got plenty of critical acclaim, which cemented their names in hip-hop history for years to come. Then suddenly at the peek of their success, their working relationship began to crumble? Why exactly? That was never shared publicly, but close sources stated that there were both personal and business conflicts that developed between the two artists. No matter how you spin it, that was the demise of the Pete Rock & CL Smooth movement as we knew it!

Even rolling solo Pete Rock continued to have a thriving career providing production and doing remixes for some of the hottest artists in the 1990s like Nas, Notorious BIG, Jeru The Damaja and The Lost Boyz. Pete soon formed a new hip-hop group with his younger brother Grap Luva and Rob-O called INI. They dropped their first single back in 1996 called "Fakin Jax," which was supposed to be the perfect setup for the INI album that never dropped because of excessive bootlegging. Dammit you bootleggers! It wasn't until 1998 that Pete finally released his first solo album compilation "Soul Survivor" that showcased a lot of hot artists spitting verbage over his hypnotic beats. Since, then Pete Rock has been blessing his fans with project after project of the goodness. Instrumental albums, unreleased projects, hot remixes, then he hit us with "Soul Survivor 2" in 2004. SS2 was not a classic, but it was still better than most of the hot trash that was being released during that time. The production was nice, but some of the artists provided mediocre performances to say the least. Outside providing beats for folks here and there, Pete has been working on his upcoming release "NY's Finest" that will hopefully be hitting the streets in this summer? Guest appearances include Styles P, Slum Village, MF Doom, Ghostface, Redman and Raekwon. Sounds like it could be a banger? I'm just hoping that the project sees the light of day actually. For you youngsters that were born in 1986 or later, go back and dig up some of that old Pete Rock & CL Smoothness from back in the day, and give it a listen. It just might change your hip-hop life??

You already know what's coming next, don't you? Homage can never be truly paid here at SoundNexx without a mixx to put things into true perspective dammit! Pete Rock's discography is so huge that it would take atleast 10 mixes to do it any justice. You can forget about that happening, so instead I have put together a mix of Pete Rock joints that have moved me personally over the years. Before we go there, checkout these classic Pete Rock & CL Smooth videos...


01-Pete Rock Introduction
02-Pete Rock & CL Smooth - Mecca & The Soul Brother
03-Pete Rock & CL Smooth - They Reminisce Over You (T.R.O.Y.)
04-Pete Rock & CL Smooth - In The House
05-Ed O.G. feat. Jaysaun - Just Call My Name
06-The U.N. - Game of Death
07-Pete Rock feat. Big Pun, N.O.R.E and Common - Verbal Murder
08-Big L feat. Stan Spit, A.G. & Miss Jones - Hold It Down
09-INI feat. Q-Tip & Large Pro - To Each His Own
10-Pete Rock feat. Little Brother - Give It To Ya
11-Pete Rock & CL Smooth - All The Places
12-Nas - The World Is Yours
13-Pete Rock & Grand Agent - This Is What They Meant
14-Pete Rock & CL Smooth - Back On The Block
15-Pete Rock & CL Smooth - Lots of Lovin (Remix)
16-Pete Rock & CL Smooth - Act Like You Know
17-Pete Rock & CL Smooth - The Creater
18-Pete Rock & CL Smooth - Next On The Menu
19-Pete Rock & CL Smooth feat. Rob O - In The Flesh


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