EWA100 - #39. Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth - The Creator

39. Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth - The Creator (Elektra. 1991. From the EP All Souled Out)

Raven Mack: You know why in 2007, Pete Rock is still considered one of the all-time great producers ever and C.L. Smooth's got his new joint filling up the used bins faster than folks can sell it back to salvage enough money for a pack of Newports? Well, it's the same reason this song is so ridiculously awesome and places above almost every other Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth song ever... because Pete Rock had It. He had that invisible, unidentifiable touch that made things great. It allowed him to know how to tweak some weird horn snippet he found on jazz fusion records, and it allowed him to slur and stumble through his words at just the perfect pace when he had some lyrics written on a shit in front of him in a song like "The Creator". I mean, seriously, Gang Starr often gets mentioned in this same type of artistic relationship, but I am pretty sure that Guru would've made a name for himself, albeit maybe not as famously, without DJ Premier. But C.L. Smooth without Pete Rock? I don't think so, to be honest, regardless of how great C.L. was... and he was a smooth motherfucker on the mic in an age of smoothness. But fuck, it could've been Pete Rock & Positive K or (imagine this one!) Pete Rock & Grand Puba, or fuck, you could've had Pete Rock & K-Solo and they would've made a name for themselves. (I am fantasy mashing "Your Moms In My Business" lyrics with the beat to "Straighten It Out" right now.)
Pete's staggered flow over his tweaky beats is two great tastes that taste great together, and the fact Pete Rock never chose to exploit this combination for ridiculous self-important marketing creations is probably a testament to how much of a down-ass brother Pete Rock really is.
I think it got mentioned in the Chubb Rock write-up way back then about the concept of Party People. Pete Rock controlling both the mic and the sampler together just conjures up smoky basement parties in my mind, no beefs and no gun-toting ego shooting from dudes' heads like aura... just people drinking and dancing and having a good-assed time, trying to escape the fuckin' dicks and assholes of the world. When did it become cool to be a dick and/or asshole all the time? Have we lost the ability to be Party People to a thug pandemic? It makes me sad, and makes me feel old.

Mike Dikk: I feel like my Expert Whiteboyness should be revoked after this entry. It’s no question that Pete Rock & CL Smooth’s most memorable song is “T.R.O.Y.”. So I tried to think of what *I* thought their secondary most memorable song would be, and honestly, I haven’t listened to Mecca & The Soul Brother since it was new. Not because I didn’t like it. I, in fact, liked it a whole bunch and was actually pissed at The Source for giving it a lower mic rating because it was too long. See, I owned it on cassette, which is a horrible format when it comes to preservation. I probably own around five cassettes at this very moment, and they are all things that are irreplaceable, i.e. only available on cassette. I just haven’t gotten around to replacing my cassette copy with an electronical mp3 copy yet, despite the fact that Mecca, along with anything Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth has ever done together is all over the internet for free consumption. I don’t know what’s wrong with me where I can’t finally bite the bullet and press the one or two fucking buttons it takes to download something that I know I actually like.
To get back to what I was saying. When I was trying to think of a secondary song, “The Creator” was completely off my radar. After some quick internet research, it turned out “The Creator” was the single from the Kind of Forgotten About Until The Internet Reminded Everyone Again All Souled Out EP.
I’m not going to front. If I had heard “All Souled Out”, it was definitely after I heard Mecca & The Soul Brother, because I’m positive that was my introduction to Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth. This song really holds no special relevance to me. Even without going back to listen, I know every song Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth ever collaborated on was 4 stars or above, simply because there was no producer ever as “in the zone” as Pete Rock was in that time period. I think people were ready to give him the Producer of the Century title at that point, as he remixed one of every three east coast rap songs that came out at the time. Pete Rock was On Fire in the early '90s much akin to the pixilated domination you could achieve when you got Shawn Kemp "On Fire" in NBA Jam.
Its funny Raven brought up the Pete Rock/Grand Puba combo, since Grand Puba ghostwrote this song, which is really easy to figure out once someone tells you Grand Puba wrote it and you listen to it. I’m still not sure if this would be considered the second best Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth song of all time by the masses, but when you put our “Singles Only Unless We Feel Like Cheating” criteria into play, you don’t have much else to choose from. I do know writing this has given me the motivation it takes to click on a mouse and own Mecca & The Soul Brother once again. I guess I’ll take the 4 seconds out of my busy schedule of eating and eating again to download All Souled Out while I’m at it.

Download: Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth - The Creator

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