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All Souled Out - EP

Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth

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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

Amazing EP

Fresh beats, fresh rapping, fresh everything

Real Hip Hop

Music I grew up rocking 2. Memories I tell ya!!! 1⃣0⃣0⃣

Biography

Born: June 21, 1970 in The Bronx, New York, NY

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Rapper, DJ, and producer Pete Rock first emerged in 1991 as one half of a duo with C.L. Smooth, debuting with the All Souled Out EP. A hit LP, Mecca and the Soul Brother, followed before the two went their separate ways in the wake of 1994's The Main Ingredient, with Rock remaining a prolific studio presence prior to the release of his solo debut, Soul Survivor, on Loud/RCA four years later. Dropped from the label, he continued his career as an independent producer, and later signed to Rapster/BBE...
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All Souled Out - EP, Pete Rock
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