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The 50 Greatest Debut Albums in Hip-Hop History

32. Pete Rock & CL Smooth, Mecca and the Soul Brother

Label: Elektra
Release Date: 6/9/1992

"They Reminisce Over You (T.R.O.Y.)"—a tribute to a fallen brother—is not just a great song, but a sacred moment in hip-hop. But is it a good enough reason for that one track to overshadow this whole album? Mecca & The Soul Brother's main strength is how it covers so much, but still manages to maintain its cool.

Pete Rock makes some of his best cuts as he switches from "Return of the Mecca"'s brooding percussion to the disillusioned jazz of "Ghettos of the Mind." All of these tracks still sound unified, though. Then CL Smooth mourns, speaks about life in the hood, and makes a love joint while remaining centered. "They Reminisce Over You (T.R.O.Y.)" is a classic, but the rest of these tracks hold up just fine on their own.

Tags: pete_rock
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