Pete Rock and CL Smooth
Mecca and the Soul Brother


3.0
good

Review

by somberlain USER (64 Reviews)
February 2nd, 2011 | 61 replies


Release Date: 1992 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Contains a true hip-hop classic in ‘T.R.O.Y.’ but little else.

There have been several MC/producer duos in hip-hop, most of the time it’s an outstanding producer who gets an adequate MC to rap over his beats, this is one of those instances. Coming up under Marley Marl, Pete Rock met up with CL Smooth and together they released the EP All Souled Out. Along with Gang Starr’s DJ Premier and A Tribe Called Quest’s Ali Shaheed Muhammad, Pete Rock was one of the pioneers of hip-hop/ jazz fusion, something that is on full display on their debut Mecca and the Soul Brother.

Right from the start, Pete Rock’s soon to be legendary production skills are made apparent on Mecca and the Soul Brother mixing jazz, R&B, soul and reggae samples in seamless fashion, along with his trademark horns. The best known song from Pete Rock and CL Smooth is obviously ‘They Reminisce Over You (T.R.O.Y.)’, dedicated to the memory of one of Heavy D’s dancers. Dedicated crate-digger Pete Rock used an incredible saxophone loop, which works as the hook for this song. Fitting the vibe of the song perfectly are CL Smooth’s, well, smooth, laid-back vocals, making this track one of the finest that hip-hop has to offer.

‘Lots of Lovin’’ may be the low point of the album with R&B singers doing the hook and CL Smooth’s corny lyrics, this track seems awfully misplaced on the album although that’s not Mecca and the Soul Brother’s only problem. With sixteen tracks and at a running time of nearly eighty minutes, Mecca and the Soul Brother runs way too long, although Pete Rock’s production keeps things interesting, CL Smooth’s monotonous flow wears thin over the length of the album. Thankfully, after ‘T.R.O.Y.’, things pick up a bit with Pete Rock’s kid brother Grap Luva busting a freestyle as the intro to ‘On and On’. Grap makes another appearance on the posse cut ‘The Basement’, which also features a spot from Heavy D as well as a better-than-expected verse from Pete Rock. ‘The Basement’ is backed by a brilliant horn and vocal sample from the well known reggae song ‘Bam Bam’, that make this track a true highlight.

In 1994, Pete Rock and CL Smooth released Mecca and the Soul Brother’s follow-up The Main Ingredient after which they parted ways. Pete Rock went on to become one of hip-hop’s best and most respected producers, working with Common, Method Man, Redman, Nas, Slick Rick and Rakim along with an endless amount of remixes for other artists; meanwhile, CL Smooth predictably faded into obscurity. Noticeably dated, Mecca and the Soul Brother provides a few great moments but has little replay value.


Recommended tracks:
T.R.O.Y.
The Basement
Can’t Front On Me



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user ratings (107)
Chart.
4.3
superb
other reviews of this album
Peter M. (4.5)
Pete Rock and C.L Smooth deliver a debut album with smart, witty lyricism and such a classic hip-hop...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
February 2nd 2011


31620 Comments


A 3? You jive ass nigga

Digging: Theo Parrish - American Intelligence

somberlain
February 2nd 2011


2121 Comments


reminds me a lot of Gang Starr
btw not a big fan of the "recommended by reviewer" albums either but if you like them, you'll like this too

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
February 2nd 2011


31620 Comments


Ninja'd my post in

somberlain
February 2nd 2011


2121 Comments


somberlain: killing Dev's 5's one by one
next up: Organized Konfusion's S/T

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
February 2nd 2011


31620 Comments


If we ever meet up irl, you and me are gonna have words son

Urinetrouble
February 2nd 2011


5764 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

somber i love you man but FUCK YOU TO ALL LIVING HELL FOR THIS!

somberlain
February 2nd 2011


2121 Comments


haha, just not a big fan of the whole jazz-rap thing

btw 'The Basement' may overtake 'T.R.O.Y.' as my fav on this album, that sample is so good

Urinetrouble
February 2nd 2011


5764 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

T.R.O.Y.>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>over every other track

Pete Rock's new stuff is kinda lame. I love his beat on Red and Meth's A-Yo

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
February 2nd 2011


31620 Comments


'The Basement' is a great track

Call me the grap lover, yes, the younger soul brother
Keep your eyes on the prize cause you won’t find another
When the funk is played, the rhyme I display
Quick to bust a ditz so don’t slip in the way
Of the kid, with the flavor, the party people saviour
Clockin all the honies, eyes sharp like a razor
I kick a dance step, you’re soon to discover
Yo, that’s the kid from mecca and the soul brother
Yeah once in a while I be with cl on the dl
Or I flow with pete, and find my placement in the basement
The basement, yes where the beats and the rhymes flow
Peace I gotta go, grapster’s out the door of the basement


somberlain
February 2nd 2011


2121 Comments


if it makes you guys feel better, I wrote this review with the intention of rating it 3.5 but as I scrolled down on the ratings pulldown, I saw the word "great" next to 3.5 so I bumped it down to a 3

cirq
February 2nd 2011


9265 Comments


troy is amazing.

SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
February 3rd 2011


16919 Comments


never heard this

pos'd

Digging: Low Roar - 0

Calculate
February 3rd 2011


1135 Comments


how you gone give a certified classic a 3!

StreetlightRock
Emeritus
February 3rd 2011


3780 Comments


a three?! Agh! I love this record! I get how someone might feel that Smooth's lyrics a little underdeveloped, but that's exactly why I adore this - it's so real, you can almost hear him racing for words before he raps them, it's like a spectator sport.

BigPoppaDiesel
February 3rd 2011


150 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

T.R.O.Y. all time classic! Straighten It Out is underrated. The Basement and For Pete's Sake air tight. You gotta love all Pete Rock's extra beats to start out each song almost like an added bonus. Amazing record but For Pete's Sake a 3!? This can't do this album justice (although article well written). Total freakin' bobblehead nodder.

Hep Kat
February 3rd 2011


15399 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

3



wut

Digging: Burning Kitchen - Many Wonder About the Meaning of Life

Inveigh
February 3rd 2011


25199 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yeah this record rules (plus I got to see them fo' free '99 back on 9/16 at midnight -- show was off the chain!)

although I agree with the part about the producer overshadowing the emcee in most instances (this, Gang Starr, Reflection Eternal) although Atmosphere and Murs/9th are exceptions imo

also, nice review sombster

Digging: Nero Di Marte - Derivae

AggravatedYeti
February 3rd 2011


7685 Comments


wow that rating

kygermo
February 3rd 2011


996 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I completely forgot about this album. A 3 is a bit low mainly because the beats on here are sooooo good and CL is good enough. Old-school as shit, but a classic nontheless. Are you going to review The Main Ingrediant? That album is just as good if not better than this one.

JustJoe
February 3rd 2011


1399 Comments


Unbreak my heart, somby.



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