June 09, 2014

Pete Rock & CL Smooth "Mecca & The Soul Brother" (The Source)

"The album begins with an explanation of the 'Mecca' as a way of life, not a place or a state of mind. Now I'm not one to be breaking down the mathematics of the title, but I can tell you that this album is mega-fat! In the wake of his cameo on PE's "Shut 'Em Down" remix, Producer/DJ Pete Rock continues to establish himself as an MC. Whether he's sittin' "Skins" with Grand Puba, loungin' in the "Basement" with posse members Heavy D, Grap Luva and Rob-O Dingo or on the solo tip as "Soul Brother #1," Pete's catching wreck on the mic in '92. CL Smooth comes correct with inspired lyrical performances on cuts like "Straighten It Out," "Can't Front On Me," "On and On" and the moving ode to the late Trouble T-Roy (of Heavy D & The Boyz) - "They Reminisce Over You." Revisit it below...

"There's a flavor R&B joint called "Lots of Lovin'" that could really blow them up on radio. But with 18 cuts, almost all of which are close to five minutes, the album is a little long. CL has moments, but he lost me towards the end of a few cuts. Musically, there's never a full moment. The scratches blend in so smoothly that sometimes you don't notice them. Soulful horn loops are fast becoming Pete's trademark. The album is filled with unused samples. Kids looking for a true balance of fat new beats and solid rhymes should definitely make a pilgrimage to Mecca." - The Source, May 1992.