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"They Reminisce Over You (T.R.O.Y.)"
Single by Pete Rock & CL Smooth
from the album Mecca and the Soul Brother
Released April 2, 1992
Format LP single
Recorded 1991
Genre Golden age hip hop
Length 4:46
Label Elektra
Producer Pete Rock
Pete Rock & CL Smooth singles chronology
"The Creator"
"They Reminisce Over You (T.R.O.Y.)"
"Straighten It Out"

"They Reminisce Over You (T.R.O.Y.)" is a song by Pete Rock and CL Smooth, inspired by the death of their close friend Troy Dixon (better known as "Trouble" T. Roy of Heavy D & the Boyz) in 1990. The song was the lead single off their debut album, Mecca and the Soul Brother, released in 1992, and later became a staple of classic early 90s hip hop. The song peaked at #58 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #1 on the Hot Rap Tracks chart.



Pete Rock in a 2007 interview with Village Voice:

I had a friend of mine that passed away, and it was a shock to the community. I was kind of depressed when I made it. And to this day, I can't believe I made it through, the way I was feeling. I guess it was for my boy. When I found the record by Tom Scott, basically I just heard something incredible that touched me and made me cry. It had such a beautiful bassline, and I started with that first. I found some other sounds and then heard some sax in there and used that. Next thing you know, I have a beautiful beat made. When I mixed the song down, I had Charlie Brown from Leaders of the New School in the session with me, and we all just started crying."




Over a horn and bass sample of Tom Scott's "Today", CL Smooth unravels fond memories of his own childhood, being the son of a young teenage mother, her father and four siblings, and the love he feels for other family members in working class Mt. Vernon. The chorus' ad libs are provided by Pete Rock. The 12 second intro is sampled from the 1971 song "When She Made Me Promise" by The Beginning of the End. The b-side of the 12" pressing is "The Creator", which is taken from the group's 1991 EP, All Souled Out.


Although not a chart topper at the time of its release, "Reminisce..." has since gone on to become a staple song in hip hop; one that immediately recalls a certain period in time (the early 90s) as well as paying respects to lost ones, and acknowledging family members. Many critics consider it one of the best produced hip-hop songs, and it continues to appear on many "Greatest Songs" lists such as Q Magazine's "1001 Best Songs Ever", Spin Magazine's "Top 20 Singles of the 90s", and The Source's "100 Best Rap Singles Of All Time".[2] It was voted #6 in's Top 100 Rap Songs.[3] It was also number 90 on VH1's 100 Greatest Songs of Hip Hop.

References and cover versions

It has been lyrically referenced in songs including "My Advice 2 You" by Gang Starr off the Moment of Truth album, "Home of the Greats" by Black Milk, "Can't Tell Me Nothing" by Kanye West, "Reminisce" by Mos Def, Bilal and Common, "Ego Trippin' (Part Two)" by De La Soul, "Memory Lane" by Nas, "Stay Around" by Talib Kweli, "It Is Me" by Method Man, "Downlo Ho" by Scientifik, "I Want You" by Common, and "School of Hard Knocks" by Californian Rock/Rap group P.O.D.. The title of Shaquille O'Neal's song "Biological Didn't Bother" is taken from the song's lyrics. In 2002, North Carolina group Little Brother sampled the song for the title track from their debut album, The Listening. The song sees MCs Rapper Big Pooh and Phonte wax lyrical about people's lack of attention paid to lyrically challenging hip hop songs. In between the verses, snippets of Pete's "Just listen!" ad libs can be heard echoing in the background. The duo of Rock and Smooth themselves lent their voices to an updated 2003 version of the song titled "Reminisce '03", by Mr. Cheeks, and produced by Mr. Sexx. Although Pete is present on the track himself, he would later make disparaging comments about it after his final split with CL Smooth. DJ Greg Street has also made a remake of the song titled "Dope Boys", which features Lupe Fiasco, Wale and Kardinal Offishall. A video for this song is being shot and will be featured on Greg Street's album, DJ Greg Street: Certified. Don Cannon assisted with the remake's production. A sample of the song was used in the remix to Mary J. Blige's single " Reminisce".

Track listing

Side A
  1. "They Reminisce Over You (T.R.O.Y.)"
  2. "They Reminisce Over You (T.R.O.Y.)" (instrumental)
  3. "The Creator (Slide to the Side Remix)"
Side B
  1. "The Creator (Slide to the Side Remix)" (instrumental)
  2. "Creator" (EP mix)
  3. "Creator" (EP mix) (instrumental)



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