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Classic Clashes: Daily Operation vs. Mecca & The Soul Brother

dailoperation

The more things change the more they stay the same.  Familiarity breeds contempt. Two cliche’s that don’t necessarily mean anything when you’re talking about classic music and today we match off two albums by two similar groups: Daily Operation by Gangstarr and Mecca And the Soul Brother by Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth.Both groups were helmed by legendary producers.  Both Pete Rock and DJ Premiere have produced incredible music both for their groups and for other artists, arguably changing the face of Hip-Hop production in their own respective ways. Pete Rock talked over the beat way before Puffy (sorry I can’t call him Diddy for this one). His horns were all the rage in the early 90′s and there were remixes where he was just pouring syrup on s**t and making pancakes (shout to Oran “Juice” Jones and Sam Jackson). Primo had been taking Hip-Hop production to a new level with unorthodox styles and incredibly scratched-n samples. He had just come into his own as a producer, experimenting with new sounds and taking a leap from their second album beat wise to creating different moods and digging deep into the crates for some of the illest samples ever. Daily Operation was his “hello world” in terms of changing the game musically. Where Rock controlled the mood with his horns, Premiere began using the piano to control the mood and tempo.Both groups had emcees who were skilled at discussing numerous topics.  Guru’s monotone style was the perfect compliment to stabilize Primo’s frenetic beats, while CL mellowed out Pete’s horns like Black Thought 1.0.  Released around the same time, the albums were well rounded with themes of Islam (Anger In “The Nation” & “Too Deep”) life in the streets (“Illest Brother” & “Ghettos Of The Mind”) and even females (“Ex To The Next” & “Lots Of Lovin’”).  Both had strong singles (“T.R.O.Y.” & “Take It Personal”).  Though they have many factors in common, musically they are very divergent albums.  Does that mean one was better than the other? That’s for you to decide, but in the end they were both classic material.Peace

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