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CL Smooth

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Long before it was prevalent for today’s posturing rappers, who fabricate stories of lavish living with boastful dreams of killing innocent citizens and rivalries, there existed a dynamic duo dubbed “Mecca & The Soul Brother”. Hailing from a small suburbia area [Mount Vernon] located on the outskirts of the place that gave birth to hip-hop [Bronx], the dynamic duo known as C.L. Smooth and Pete Rock left a lasting imprint on the culture of hip-hop. Churning out hits that were critical acclaimed for its uniqueness and cleverness, a marriage was made in hip-hop that does not exist today. Pete Rock’s production acumen was highly praised along side of his partner in rhyme [C.L. Smooth] who possessed a distinctive flow matched with a perfect delivery.

Classical songs such as They Reminisce Over You (T.R.O.Y.),” a tribute song packed with emotions that haven’t been duplicated up to this day, showed the conscientious of the lyrical rhyme slayer C.L. Smooth. After successfully releasing three albums the soul-tight brothers departed ways leaving die-hard fans in a frenzy for the signature horn loops of Pete and the verbal play of the Smooth one. While Pete Rock went on to become a much in demand producer, industry insiders and fans alike wondered the fate of C.L. Smooth. Fast forward to a decade later, C.L. is ready to give back what the game is missing by releasing his first solo EP and first new music in a decade.

With a 6 song EP titled “AMERICAN ME” on Shaman work Records an Independent label Distributed by Koch. The new music is a stand out from the old Pete Rock days with a blend of blazing lyrics over the top-notch production of today. Tracks like, I Can’t Help It keep C.L. Smooth on a winning streak, bringing back old fans while garnering the attention of those who are novice to one of hip-hop’s legends. The song finds the Mount Vernon native spitting it like he’s getting it, “I’m with the hood study/ good and right up in the cutty/ Sit real pretty/ but the shit can get ugly/ with no love for me you people think I’m made out of money/ The illest niggas are under my thumb are like putty/”. Production on this standout track is courtesy of in-house producer Mike Loe. “ When It’s Warm Outside” is an irresistible radio friendly song produced by Arsonist (Heat Makerz) that everyone’s’ favorite drunken uncle will be blasting at the family barbecue. The Smooth one sets the tempo letting today’s pro tool rappers know that he’s not far removed from scene. In fact he is back to claim his position, rightfully so with the one line shot-warner from ”Smoke in the Air”, “cause I’m not here to fit in, I’m here to get right in, this is a take over, Rap needs a makeover”.

No rapper has taken a 10 year sabbatical only to return better than ever in an industry that shuns ole’ heads and pioneers, but C.L. Smooth may be the exception to this unwritten rule. “AMERICAN ME” is sure to be a classic EP delivered with lyrical merits, tight production and substantial story lines.

by: Rahiem Shabazz

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