The Main Ingredient
The Main Ingredient
Studio album by Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth


October 8, 1994


August 1993 - July 1994


Greene St. Recordings
(New York City, New York)


Hip hop, Jazz rap, East Coast hip hop




Elektra Records


Damian Blyden (exec.), C.L. Smooth (also exec.), Pete Rock (also exec.)

Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth chronology


Mecca and the Soul Brother (1992)

The Main Ingredient is the second album by American hip hop duo Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth, released in October 8, 1994 on Elektra Records. It would become the duo's last album together. Characterised by sultry soul and jazz samples, The Main Ingredient saw a more polished sound than the duo's debut album, building on the praise that they had already garnered. The album is notable for its snappy, crispy drums and extensive use of vocal scratches. Although missing a centerpiece on the scale of "They Reminisce Over You (T.R.O.Y.)", the album contains some of the duo's best known work, in the form of tracks such as the upbeat "In the House" and the piano-laden "Take You There".

Continuing a theme initiated by Mecca and the Soul Brother, brief instrumental interludes are placed at the beginning and end of songs. With the exception of just a few tracks, this feature is present throughout the album. In addition, The Main Ingredient saw Pete Rock fleshing out and defining his trademark production style, which is now recognised for often containing smooth basslines, swirling horns, filtered samples, and spacious grooves. The production on this album proved to be influential upon a legion of latter day producers, with the album being a favourite of the late producer J Dilla.

The album peaked at #51 on the Billboard 200 and #9 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. Though overlooked at the time of its release, the album has since been re-evaluated with high critical acclaim. The duo broke up in 1995 citing creative differences, although both parties have since admitted that an unstable working relationship was the main cause of their split.

Track listingEdit

All songs produced by Pete Rock and co-produced by C.L. Smooth.

No. Title Performer(s) Writer(s) Time
1. "In the House" C.L. Smooth, Pete Rock Duke, Odindo, Penn, Phillips 5:27
2. "Carmel City" C.L. Smooth Penn, Phillips 3:52
3. "I Get Physical" C.L. Smooth Penn, Phillips 4:54
4. "Sun Won't Come Out" C.L. Smooth, Pete Rock Penn, Phillips, Scales 4:24
5. "I Got a Love" C.L. Smooth Lewis, Penn, Phillips 5:04
6. "Escape" Pete Rock Lind, Odindo, Phillips, White 5:14
7. "The Main Ingredient" Pete Rock, C.L. Smooth Penn, Phillips 5:17
8. "Worldwide" Rob-O, Pete Rock Odindo, Phillips 3:02
9. "All the Places" C.L. Smooth Mizell, Mizell, Penn, Phillips 5:39
10. "Tell Me" C.L. Smooth Penn, Phillips 4:17
11. "Take You There" C.L. Smooth, Pete Rock Burke, Felder, Penn, Phillips, Wright 4:47
12. "Searching" C.L. Smooth Penn, Phillips 4:45
13. "Check It Out" C.L. Smooth Lyle, Penn, Phillips 3:57
14. "In the Flesh" C.L. Smooth, Rob-O, Deda, Pete Rock Dida, Odindo, Penn, Phillips 5:48
15. "It's on You" C.L. Smooth Penn, Phillips 5:21
16. "Get on the Mic" C.L. Smooth Penn, Phillips 3:50


  • Mixed by: Jamey Staub (track 1-7, 9-14, 16), Rod Hui (track 8, 15).
  • Recorded by: Jamey Staub (track 1-7, 9-14, 16), Rod Hui (track 8, 15).
  • Production Coordinator: Ruddy Phillips.
  • Art Direction/Design: Mary Ann Dibs.
  • Photography: Danny Clinch.
  • Styling: Cathie Arquilla.
  • Management & Direction: All Out Management
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