Sunday, September 18, 2005
Pete Rock & CL Smooth : It's Not A Game (from Lots Of Lovin 12")
Pete Rock & CL Smooth : It's Not A Game (Elektra, 1993)
Pete Rock & CL Smooth : One In A Million (Epic, 1993)
I have to admit that Pete Rock is not my favourite producer ever. I know that in some countries you could go to jail for saying that, but sometime a man has to stand for what he believes in. I mean, I like some of his music, but I really don't understand why so many people consider him a demi-god. He has a blind cult-following among beat-makers and wannabe producers. The funny thing is a lot of producers are fans of Pete Rock, while DJ Premier appeals more to MCs (and DJs judging by how many best-of Premo mixtapes are around).
It's almost cliché to try to compare them, but they have a similar career. Both were in a group with an average MC, and surrounded themselves with a crew of terrible MCs. When they had the oportunity to work with great MCs, DJ Premier is the one who pulled the best beats in my humble opinion. Take Rakim, listen to "Remember That" and then listen to "Been a Long Time", or say KRS One : "MC Act Like They Don't Know" compared to "Get Yoursel Up remix" ? "The World Is Yours" vs. "Represent" ? "Juicy remix" vs. "Kick In The Door" ? (by the way I don't consider Biggie to approach anywhere near Nas, KRS or Rakim, it's just to prove my point).
To me, Pete Rock reached his climax with They Reminisce Over You, and he somehow manage to make his entire career out this extraordinary song. Very early he understood the importance of having a signature sound. At first it was the echoing horns, the adlibs, and on The Main Ingredient it was the Biz Markie/Big Daddy Kane scratches (as heard on "I Get Physical", "I Got A Love", "Main Ingredient", "Places I Been", "Check It Out" "In The Flesh" and "Get On The Mic"). "It's Not A Game" was made between their albums, so it still has the adlibs and the horn sounds. The other cut is from the same time period, the horns are still there, but in a jazz style, with a scratch chorus, courtesy of MC Ricky D.
It beats anything on the Main Ingredient album. But that's just my opinion...