June 7, 2012


Pete Rock on 20 Years of "Mecca and the Soul Brother"

Saturday (June 9) marks the 20th anniversary of Mecca and the Soul Brother, the landmark hip hop album by "Crate Diggers" alum Pete Rock and CL Smooth. The group's debut album helped bridge the gap between jazz, funk, soul and hip hop, with Rock's horn-filled productions and unmatched sampling skills helping ensure that 20 years later, Mecca remains on many hip hop Best Of lists.

Rock recalled finishing the record. "It was snowing heavily outside when we finished the last record for the album," he said in the video above. "We were like, 'We hope people like this,' because we were hella excited about it and this was so different than what other people are doing, let's see how they react. We listened back to it for the first time and we just sat there, drank, smoke. It was amazing. The 20th anniversary of the record brought me back to that feeling real quick."

Rock also touched upon the creation of "They Reminisce Over You (T.R.O.Y.)," the group's signature song about the death of friend "Trouble" T. Roy. "At that point in time, I was depressed. But when i heard that sample of [Tom Scott's 'Today'], it did something to my soul and i just put it down and tried to make something of it. and i was getting excited making the beat. I was calling people like, 'Yo, [producer] Large [Professor], I want to come to your house. I need you to hear how I'm doing this.' I wanted the world to hear this. When it was finished, I cried. I was like, Wow, this is a great song for my homie. He meant a lot to a lot of us. So I'm glad I was able to give that back to him."

Check out the full video above.