Pete Rock & CL Smooth released their debut album “Mecca and the Soul Brother” on June 9 1992 and it has become one of the greatest debut releases in Hip Hop History. Moreover, it has become one of the greatest albums (period) in Hip Hop History! The following are 6 of the greatest tracks off this album as compiled by yours truly. I have played this album over and over again in the last quarter of a century since it’s release and I can tell you the entire album is bangin! Picking 6 is extremely difficult, but after taking apart the production and rhymes and also listening to what Hip Hop Heads have to say, here are the Top 6 Tracks Off “Mecca and the Soul Brother”!
I know I’m leaving off “Return of the Mecca” and “If It Aint Rough, It Aint Right” but some sacrifices needed to be made. But then again, we can make an argument for any cut off this classic LP!
So why six tracks? Well…five was the original number I had in mind, but I had to add one more and it’s a track I couldn’t leave off.
6. “Wig Out”
The drum sample from “Music Talk” by Georgie Fame takes this track to another level and doesn’t let go for 4 plus minutes! The beat hits hard and CL’s lyrics are on point as always!
Circulate us in the vein, set to ride the cracks on your brain
like a novacaine, i train to easy any pain (word?)
yeah, get your wig loose, i relieve tension
the path to my lesson is the highway to heaven (ahh yeah)
plus, what a rush, catch another one flushed (uh-huh)
now you got a crush, makin dames wanna blush (yeah)
i stomp out your campfire; liar, retire (uh)
cause none of these homefries here is Oreida (yeah)
the wiggy-wig get the big bread; known to break em like a twig (whoo!)
gimme beef cause i don’t eat pig (uh)
who runs the joint with the flavors in the vernon? (uh-huh)
got _one life to live_, _as the world keeps turning_ (yeah)
more, take a draw, then react to contact (uh)
a buzz from my ’cause i back as a fact (yeah)
just like the reverand, i make you wanna jump and shout (say what?)
cl smooth got the wig out..
5. “Skinz“ featuring Grand Puba
This track bangs with Grand Puba dropping a crazy dope verse about making French toast! The beat sounds like it was tailor made for the Grand Pubian and uses a sample from The Coasters “Down Home Girl“. The slow pace makes it easy to take in every single syllable that Puba and especially CL spit! All 3 MC’s grab the mic and represent but, Puba takes it for the win!
Nowadays i’m on some extra be careful (sh*t)
I take precaution, before i slide up in the slit
man (f*ck) that i put aluminum foil on my (d*ck)
cause if you catch it, boy that (sh*t)’ll kick you quick
better yet, you can pass me a ziplock
a bag of boom, and a 40 then some boot knock
i get stiff and it’s hard like Charles Bronson
it’s kinda (f*cked) up what happened to Magic Johnson
but anyway, you know the resume
time to drop the girbauds and parlay, hey
i rock the world over big botty girls
won’t hit the skinz if she gotta jheri curl
cause when i jump into my thing i make the bedspring sing
and you can ask my old fling, who’s the bedroom king?
hit the skinz hard, she’ll hang on to the bedpost
then i drop my load, then get up and make some french toast
run and get the paper and it won’t be The Post
after that you know the flavor i’m ghost!
4. “It’s Like That”
The baseline is taken from Elephant’s Memory “Mongoose” and a crazy and funky horn sample that makes you scratch your head and say, “How the f*ck did Pete Rock but this ish together?!” Oh, and then you have a double dose of CL lyrics and it’s that 2nd verse that makes you stop and rewind this track to death! “Oh it’s like that now!!!”
C.L. is the attribute you salute
‘Cuz I gotta make loot, can’t afford to be cute
Enter the equilibrium in a medium
Breaking your cranium with no ultimatum
Drop a psalm like a bomb, never land in your palm
And now I’m so cool and calm
Pure unadulterated, premeditated
Lyrical form, Pete Rock is the storm
Sophistication, I kick to a nation
I rare compilation, I call recreation
The prognosis, so mackadocious
Straight up ferocious for those who can focus
Large like the Beatles, ask all my peoples
Never make movies, so don’t talk sequels
So, honey, save the chit-chat when I kick a format fat
It’s like that!
3. “For Pete’s Sake”
Why so high on the list? First and foremost the lyrics are taken to a superior level by CL, but Pete Rock throws it down like no other song on this or any album. When both MC’s shine, you know it’s a classic! Btw…that Freddie McCoy sample is absolutely bananas!
Here come’s the rugged one, plus the way I flip it
I collect the loot and then I knock the boots
A smooth dark lover, prefer to be called the chocolate lover
‘Cause I can do wonders under cover
I’m dip-dip-dope, I rhyme like riz-ope
I cleanse like soap, ’cause it’s the great black hope
Stay away from the penile, I can rock the senile
Hons alway wave ’cause I’m slick like lunile
Pete Rock on the boot knock, on the boot knock
Plus the way that I flow blood clot
Yo, my style’s cock-diesel and I can do the hustle
Niggaz know the time, I don’t have to flex a muscle
I’m not the type to fake it, I wouldn’t try to take it
Tie your girl to the back of my Jeep butt-naked
Slide her monkey ass down the hill
So if you don’t want beef, money, chill for Pete’s sake!
2. “Straighten It Out”
What else can I say about this track? It samples the great Ernie Hine’s “Our Generation” and it makes you listen to every single word that comes out of CL’s mouth. This track is so smooth, it’s only appropriate that CL gets on the mic and makes it even smoother! The lyrics are full of positivity so you know it has to rank high on this list!
The funk legacy I pass on, clearancy for high rates
Every time we sample all the past time greats
Stick it in the SP-1200 beat, I make a loop
Lovely, where the Troop in a Lexus coupe
Just a little bit, set to make a whole lot happen
The musical inside my rappin’
Written by the C.L., produced by the P.R
And add in any credit that you heard thus far
I start from scratch, cuz the bass line’s critical
Better than the original who first made it
But now you want to sue me, but fans never boo me
Believe I know the times, we been broke, too, G
Here’s another sample clear, seeya, get the hell outta here
Like a bootleg, you’re over for the year
You’ll only get the credit where the credit is due
So, listen, what I shout out is true
1. “They Reminisce Over You”
This is a no-brainer! What else would be #1? The track tugs at your heart and doesn’t let go! It was written after Trouble T-Roy, a member of Heavy D & The Boyz, fell off a balcony and later died at the hospital. That saxophone sample is one of the greatest samples in Hip Hop History. Pete Rock took a sample of The Beginning of The End’s “When She Made Me Promise” to start off this unforgettable and beloved track. The sample can be heard in the first 12 seconds of the song.
He then took a saxophone sample from Tom Scotts rendition of “Today” and the rest is history. You can hear the sample at the 1:38 mark.
CL Smooth speaks about his childhood and family members as he walks down memory lane. On the 3rd verse we finally get to hear him talk about his fallen friend T-Roy and what his friendship meant to him. He explains and breaks down the acronym “T.R.O.Y.” with:
I reminisce so you never forget this
The days of way back, so many bear witness the fitness
Take the first letter out of each word in this joint
Listen close as I prove my point
T to the R-uh-O-Y, how did you and I meet?
In front of Big Lou’s, fighting in the street
But only you saw what took many time to see
I dedicate this to you for believing in me
This song is undoubtedly Pete Rock and CL Smooth’s greatest and most memorable tracks. More than that, it has gone down as one of Hip Hop’s greatest tracks. People play it at weddings and family reunions, and always “pour out a little liquor” for the brother T-Roy and all of our belated fam!
The album is in my Top 10 of all time, but these 6 tracks are my favorite and I hope yall agree with me. But I would not argue with anybody who would put this list in a different order or replace tracks for others! Still, it’s a great album and every track is memorable. We salute you Pete Rock and CL Smooth!