The US duo are currently in the country on tour, as they celebrate the 25th anniversary of their debut record, 'Mecca and the South Brother'.
With shows already in Melbourne, Sydney and Perth under their belts, next stop is Brisbane later this week. “I didn’t know what to expect,” CL Smooth says.
“So I just asked people who’ve experienced Australia before and they told me it’s a place you don’t want to leave after awhile. I feel very comfortable here.
“The people are friendly and I just love the audience and how receptive to the music they are, I’m really looking forward to experiencing our other shows in the same way.”
Pete Rock and CL Smooth (Corey Penn) met in high school and began creating and producing music together. They released two albums as well as collaborated with the likes of Public Enemy and Run-D.M.C in the early '90s. A fall-out over creative differences in 1995 led to the pair hardly producing any music together until 2010.
Now the duo are touring Australia together for the very first time. Icons within the hip hop scene – many claim their track 'They Reminisce Over You (T.R.O.Y)' the greatest hip hop production ever – the pair have seen massive changes to the way hip hop and other music is being created and produced.
“Even when you start from the beginning and things develop and change and morph into other things, it’s only because of what you started and what you developed and the long line of great music that you followed to get to the point where you are,” Corey says.
“Music has changed a lot, technology has a big contribution in what music is lacking and what music is developing into.”
According to statistics generated by FortuneLords, there are some 300 hours of video content uploaded to YouTube every minute. Of this content, only a small percentage are created by musicians looking for their big break.
But just two decades ago, things were a lot different, Corey says. “With technology now everybody can make a record, anybody can be an internet sensation… things are not really as special as they once were.
“Back 25 years ago when the internet wasn’t ruling music, the movies and everything that entertainers have to offer… the talent was more visible, you had to do a lot more things to be discovered, you had to really have good talent.”
With today's music, Corey believes the internet especially is over saturated, that you have to really dig for the good stuff and search a little bit more.
One thing he doesn't take for granted is his ability to produce and create music that affects the people around him. “I appreciate it so much because that’s what you’re in it for, you’re in it to move people, you’re in it to make people relate to your ups and downs and you’re ins and outs and what you appreciate most, what family means to you and how you can relate to the everyday struggles and everyday life of happiness in ones life.
“I’m very appreciative of that, I’ve very humbled by it and very appreciative of it and it shows by the audience, when you look at the audience they’re in their zone of looking at something legendary, give it to ‘em the way it needs to be given to them.”
Pete Rock and CL Smooth perform at Chardon's Corner Hotel (Brisbane) 16 March