Pete Rock & CL Smooth – “T.R.O.Y. (They Reminisce Over You)” (1992)

Pete Rock & CL Smooth - "T.R.O.Y. (They Reminisce Over You)" (1992)

Pete Rock & CL Smooth – “T.R.O.Y. (They Reminisce Over You)”

I’m always pressed on what my favorite song of all-time is, and I feel as though it is an impossible answer in a lot of ways. While I certainly love my lists and pathologically putting things in order, the reason I enjoy music is that there’s so much to choose from. I’ve made music my main pursuit in life because I can listen to musicians as vastly different from one another as Big Black, Sonny Sharrock, and Pantha du Prince and still enjoy myself greatly.

However, I have a few answers in my back pocket for the occasion when I am pressed on the issue. It’s just something to make life easier, even if it doesn’t comport with how I typically listen to music. I’m not going to listen to my “favorite” song over and over again because there’s more things to discover for the first time, which is what really drives me. But, as I said, I have a few standbys: “Good Morning Captain” by Slint, “Regular John” by Queens of the Stone Age, “More Bounce to the Ounce” by Zapp, “Ano Onna No Onryou” by Boris, and our video for today, “T.R.O.Y. (They Reminisce Over You)” by Pete Rock and CL Smooth.

This is off of their 1992 album, the stellar Mecca and the Soul Brother, and it might be the greatest hip-hop song in history. That mournful sax loop, CL’s beautifully frank, poetic, and quietly assured lyrics, the awesome beat that gives me chills just thinking about it. Not exactly a “hit” when it came out, the song has gone on to establish a massive legacy in hip-hop. Countless other hip-hop artists have name checked and integrated the song into their own work, and countless critical publications have deemed it one of the best hip-hop songs ever. I can’t find a shred of fault in that. I still kind of well up when I hear it if I’m being honest, which I certainly can’t say for most music. I could go on, but you get my point. Just listen to it.

For more short music discussions, check out our post on “Technical Difficulties” by Dr. Octagon.

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