Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth are a hip-hop duo from Mount Vernon,
New York. They made their debut with their 1991 EP, All Souled Out
and followed with 1992's Mecca and the Soul Brother LP.
As a producer, DJ Pete Rock (Peter Phillips) tended to prefer obscure
soul and jazz sides for sample sources, frequently making use of
horn-driven hooks. Lead vocalist CL Smooth (Corey Penn) tended to
be philosophical in his raps, and he mostly avoided profanity. Their
signature hit was “They Reminisce Over You (T.R.O.Y.)”,
a dirge for fallen friends--namely Troy "Trouble T-Roy" Dixon,
a member of Heavy D & The Boyz, who died in 1990.
1994's The Main Ingredient was the follow up, and they appeared
on a string of guest appearances for remixes, soundtracks, and other
works. Public Enemy, EPMD, Heavy D and Johnny Gill were among the
artists they collaborated with, and they can also claim credit for
producing (and performing on) Run-DMC’s 1993 comeback single
'Down with the King'. Despite all this, the duo failed to go gold
on any of their own releases.
 Creative Differences (1995-2009)
Separating in 1995 (shortly after a Sprite TV commercial), they
eventually worked together again on a handful of cuts from Pete Rock’s
solo recordings: Soul Survivor (1998), PeteStrumentals (2001) and
Soul Survivor II (2004). They also went on a brief reunion tour as
a warm up for their then-anticipated new album, which ended with
a show at London's famous Jazz Cafe. Despite these intermittent collaborations,
the pair has exchanged dismissive comments toward each other in separate
interviews, disavowing plans for a full-fledged reunion.
Their best-of compilation, Good Life, was released on Elektra/WEA
During this time span CL Smooth went on to release two solo albums
- American Me in 2006 and The Outsider in 2007. Pete Rock would produce
beats for a myriad of artists, including CL Smooth's It's a Love
Thing and Love is a Battlefield from each of his solo albums.
 Reunion (2010-Present)
A deluxe CD box-set of Mecca and the Soul Brother was released in
September 2010 by Traffic. The package includes a remastered CD of
the original album, a second disc of remixes, instrumentals and acapellas,
a fold-out poster and a detailed booklet with interviews and insights
from Rock and Smooth by Brian Coleman.
In late 2010, Pete Rock & CL Smooth finally ended their creative
differences after fifteen years of being at odds with each other.
The duo has officially reunited for the sake of hip-hop and are respectfully
working with each other again. The death of hip-hop pioneer Guru
earlier in the year was a major catalyst which lead to inspiring
the reunion. Pete Rock & CL Smooth wanted to avoid the fate which
Gang Starr tragically ended with, as Guru had not been on speaking
terms with DJ Premier for roughly seven years and ultimately succumbed
to cancer before their differences could be absolved.
While touring in London with CL Smooth in December, Pete Rock has
stated that a new Pete Rock & CL Smooth album is already in the
works and will be released in 2011 as soon as it is completed. The
album will be the duo's fourth album and first album after seventeen
years since 1994's The Main Ingredient.
All Souled Out
* Released: June 25, 1991
* Billboard 200 chart position: -
* R&B/Hip-Hop chart position: #53
* Singles: "Mecca & the Soul Brother", "The Creator", "Good
Life"/"Good Life (Group Home Mix)"
Mecca and the Soul Brother
* Released: June 9, 1992
* Billboard 200 chart position: #43
* R&B/Hip-Hop chart position: #7
* Singles: "They Reminisce Over You (T.R.O.Y.)", "Straighten
It Out", "Lots of Lovin'"
The Main Ingredient
* Released: November 8, 1994
* Billboard 200 chart position: #51
* R&B/Hip-Hop chart position: #9
* Singles: "Take You There"/"Get on the Mic", "I Got
a Love"/"The Main Ingredient"
Good Life: The Best of Pete Rock & CL Smooth
* Released: June 10, 2003
* Billboard 200 chart position: -
* R&B/Hip-Hop chart position:
* "The Creator (Remix)" (1991)
* "They Reminisce Over You (T.R.O.Y.)" (1992)
* "Straighten It Out" (1992)
* "Lots of Lovin'" (1993)
* "One In a Million" (1993)
* "Take You There" (1994)
* "I Got a Love" (1994)
* "Searching" (1995)
* "Back On The Block" (2001)
* "Shine On Me"/"Climax" (2003)
* "It's a Love Thing"/"Appreciate" (2004)