Pete Rock & CL Smooth @TheHMVForum, December 12th | London Events

Established legends in the hip-hop game during the golden era of hip-hop before new sampling laws restricted producer’s creativity, Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth along with east coast contemporaries A Tribe Called Quest and Gang Starr were among the first to fuse smoothed out soulful, jazz and funk grooves with butter flows.

Once their EP All Souled Out generated a huge buzz, their debut album Mecca and The Soul Brother was recognized as an instant classic by critics and fans alike upon release in 1992.

Pete Rock’s neck snapping drums and horn-laden production coupled with C.L. Smooth’s immaculate flow and ability to articulate on a diverse range of lyrical themes made for a rarity in hip-hop history, a lengthy yet flawless album.

The first single from the album, “T.R.O.Y (They Reminisce over you)” [a dedication to their fallen friend and backup Dancer for Heavy D & The Boyz, “Trouble T-Roy”] is bona fide hip-hop classic drenched in nostalgia and emotion that might just leave few dry eye’s in the house once that timeless Tom Scott saxophone riff kicks in.

The Main Ingredient proved to be a solid sophomore effort with smoother soulful grooves and philosophical musings, by this time Pete Rock was and still is recognized as one of the elite producers in hip-hop. Some of the best remixes you are ever likely to hear include his reworking of House of Pain’s ubiquitous “Jump Around” and Public Enemy’s “Shut Em Down”. At this point Rock’s abundant production talent complete with his trademark delayed horn sample chops, were at its peak.

During 1995, a year after the release of The Main Ingredient, Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth went their separate ways only to reunite for a handful of songs in the intervening years including cuts on both of Pete Rock’s Soul Survivor solo albums. The evident chemistry and quality of these songs lead to speculation that there maybe a Pete Rock & CL Smooth reunion album on the cards especially after their triumphant reunion show at the Jazz Café back in 2004.

Although both have discussed the possibility of a permanent reunion in recent interviews, nothing is for certain and it’s advised to catch them while you can as tickets are selling rapidly so the lucky attendees will be treated to an early Christmas present.

Pete Rock and CL Smooth perform at The HMV Forum in London on Sunday December 12th.
Buy tickets via Ticketmaster, Ticketweb, See Tickets or HMV Tickets.

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