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All Souled Out (EP)

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Album Review

This six-song EP officially introduced Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth to the hip-hop listening community, and it is hard to imagine a stronger or more confident introduction. Pete Rock's unmatched production sound is already in place, fully-formed, drenched in obscure soul music samples and rumbling, cavernous bass. Characterized by his trademark sonic signature, muted and phased trumpet, and flute loops, the songs sound regal with endless depth (with the exception, perhaps, of his own enjoyably buoyant rhyming vehicle, "The Creator"). Of course, C.L. Smooth's lyrics have just as much to do with that regal quality. His vocals are so laid-back and understated — even soothing — that they can be deceptive and difficult to grasp. Once the listener finds a way in, however, there is much to be found in his words; bypassing the normal rap self-involvements, Smooth instead opts to make moral arguments and ask intellectual questions of the urban community, in essence holding a mirror up to that community without ever devolving into didacticism or soap-box judgment. He is decidedly tough-minded but also sympathetic. Standouts include both versions of "Good Life," the irresistible "Go With the Flow," and the anthemic title track, with rapid-fire rhyming from Smooth and a perfectly funky organ riff, but the whole EP is essential.

Customer Reviews

All Souled Out (EP)

If you remember when Hip Hop was about more than just bling, you'll know this is an essential in your collection.

All souled out

The second golden era of hip hop seems a long time ago now.....but this was a gem from Pete and CL at the height of their productive peak....great lyrics...great cuts and samples beautifully used and matched...this is essential listening for those who know their hip hop......

Big

Best EP I've ever heard!

Biography

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

Years Active: '90s, '00s

As one-half of the classic-era hip-hop duo Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth, C.L. Smooth was responsible for penning some of hip-hop's timeless classics, including "The Creator," "Straighten It Out," "Take You There," and the landmark "They Reminisce Over You (T.R.O.Y.)." His smooth voice, effortless flow, and conscious lyrics were easily recognizable signatures of Smooth's style, and with Pete Rock's soulful and funky backing, they distinguished themselves as a formidable duo even amid the flourishing...
Full bio
All Souled Out (EP), C.L. Smooth
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