Pete Rock Biography

Peter Phillips, 21 June 1970, the Bronx, New York City, New York, USA. One of rap music’s most respected producers, Mount Vernon, New York, USA-based Pete Rock was introduced to the world via Marley Marl’s WBLS show in 1989. He has since gone on to work with everyone from forerunners Heavy D (his cousin), Slick Rick, EPMD and Run-DMC (including their first single, ‘Down With The King’), to later talents in the shape of Lords Of The Underground (actually offering vocals on their ‘Flow On’), Nas and K-Solo. Other projects include his soundtrack work on Who’s The Man and Menace II Society. His remix roster is almost as impressive, with engagements with Brand Nubian, Public Enemy, House Of Pain, Das EFX, Father and non-rap artists like Shabba Ranks and Johnny Gill. He also put together the Untouchables producer network/umbrella organisation for the activities of himself and co-conspirators Eddie F, Dave Hall and Nevelle Hodge.

Rock also recorded with rapper C.L. Smooth (b. Corey Penn), debuting with 1991’s acclaimed All Souled Out EP. Rock’s impeccable production skills were again to the fore on Mecca And The Soul Brother, which included the superb US Top 60 hit single ‘They Reminisce Over You (T.R.O.Y.)’. Their second album tilted towards the mainstream on smooth R&B cuts such as ‘Searching’ and ‘Take You There’, but with the rise of gangsta rap challenging their old school-style the duo called it a day shortly afterwards.

After working on two abortive albums, one with the group INI and the other with Deda (later collected on the 2003 compilation Lost & Found: Hip Hop Underground Soul Classics), Rock returned to solo work for 1998’s Soul Survivor, which featured a long guest list including members of the Wu-Tang Clan, Noreaga, Beenie Man, and his old partner Smooth. Rock’s mellow, soul-influenced style provided a surprisingly effective backing to the abrasive MCing of most of the guest rappers, although his own rhyming remained strictly amateurish.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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