"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.
Pete Rock in a 2007 interview with Village Voice
Over a horn and bass sample of Tom Scott
's "Today", CL Smooth unravels his fond memories of T. Roy, his own childhood as one of 5 children, his absentee biological father and the love he feels for other family members such as his Uncle Doc, Uncle Sterling, Aunt Joyce, and Grandma Pam. The chorus
' ad libs
are provided by Pete Rock. The 12 second intro is sampled from the song "When She Made Me Promise" by The Beginning of the End.
The instrumental version of the song was used in the main menu screen of NBA Street Vol. 2
. 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". It was voted #6 in About.com's Top 100 Rap Songs.
References and Cover Versions
It has been lyrically referenced in songs including "Home of the Greats" by Black Milk
, "Can't Tell Me Nothing
" by Kanye West
, "Reminisice" by Mos Def
, "Ego Trippin' (Part Two)" by De La Soul
, "Stay Around" by Talib Kweli
, "It Is Me" by Method Man
and "I Want You" by Common
. 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. Oddly, 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
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.
- Side A
- They Reminisce Over You (T.R.O.Y.)
- They Reminisce Over You (T.R.O.Y.) (instrumental)
- The Creator (Slide To The Side Remix)
- Side B
- The Creator (Slide To The Side Remix) (instrumental)
- Creator (EP mix)
- Creator (EP mix) (instrumental)