Pete Rock & CL Smooth “They Reminisce Over You (T.R.O.Y.)” (1992)

Album: Mecca and the Soul Brother

Label: Elektra

Pete Rock: “Troy was a close friend of the neighborhood that we grew up with since we were little. His older brother’s name was Gary. I wasn’t on the road when this happened, but they were on tour with Kid ‘n Play and Salt-N-Pepa. They were playing around throwing empty garbage cans at each other on stage.

“Troy was a playful person like that. He was at the edge of the stage and it was twenty feet high, and he slipped off the edge and fell [and died]. I don’t know how I made that beat while being depressed for such a long period of time. He was really close with everyone in the neighborhood. Mount Vernon is not that big, it’s four square miles wide and long. Everybody knew him.


“I found the record [for the sample] when I was digging with Large Professor. I made the base of the beat at my house, and I finished the rest at his house using his SP-950. Q-Tip had nothing to do with [making the beat]. I think what happened was he liked the horn riff that he heard. I had already sampled it, but I filtered it to make the bass line. The horn was already there, but he just thought it was a good idea for me to put it in there. And I put in there. I made the beat, he just suggested I put that in there.

“We used to all go digging together a lot. I used to come to Queens, and they used to come to Mount Vernon, back and forth, going record shopping together, everything.

“CL came up with the lyrics even before I came up with the beat. He didn’t have the beat [to write to]. He already had the song written. The beat made me emotional so I figured it would work. When the lyrics came together with the music, that was the match made in heaven. Thank God it matched the way it did. It was a great outcome.

“When we finished the song and mixed it, I had Charlie Brown from Leaders Of The New School in the session, and when we listened back to the record we just started crying. When I felt like that, I was like, ‘This is it.’ Deep in my heart I felt like this was gonna be something big.”