NEW YORK, NEW YORK - AUGUST 04: CL Smooth performs during Carnegie Hall presents Club Quarantine Live featuring D-Nice on August 04, 2022 in New York City.

C.L. Smooth Champions Positivity, Family and Education

C.L. Smooth Stresses the Importance of a Positive Attitude, Family and Education

Published Fri, January 27, 2023 at 4:14 PM EST

The Mecca Don C.L. Smooth has always exhibited a level of maturity that was beyond many of his contemporaries in Hip-Hop. From his run of hits with Pete Rock that started more than three decades ago, he has always stressed family, responsibility, and accountability, values that aren't easy to promote in Hip-Hop and still maintain street credibility and authenticity.

C.L. Smooth embedded those virtues into songs such as "T.R.O.Y.," "Lots of Lovin'," "The Good Life," and "Straighten It Out." In a recent interview with HBCU Times, he doubles down on the ideas that he presented in his 1990s output and speaks about how he feels about the current climate of Hip-Hop.

Name one white artist that caught a RICO charge - that's when you're in the Mafia. That's unheard of.

- C.L. Smooth

"A lot of today's Hip-Hop is good storytelling, but it's more about being destructive than living," he explained. "The zest for life should never be overtaken by the pressures of man. The higher-ups [in the music industry] allow these things to happen - many of them are not even part of the community."

C.L. again expressed that he feels much of the irresponsibility in some of the content is purposely promoted. "They don't want you teaching them how to survive, how to take care of your family; dead or alive, they are going to take your money. It's a risky business now — most dangerous because of the youth and the culture of certain music that is being produced that's not respectful. It's putting you in a place where you have to protect yourself."

The importance of family has always been stressed in his writing, and C.L. Smooth explains the influence of family on him as a man.

"The image of C.L. Smooth was built off of my grandfather," he remembered. "I copied the way he talked, pronounced words, the way that he wore his hat, his clothes, his bag, and his lifestyle. If he could rap he'd be C.L. Smooth. I created the character and grew into it."

College education is extremely important in his family. His great-grandmother, grandmother, sisters and nephews all attended college. "I made my choice at a very young age," he said. "I wanted to be a musician. That was my choice and education. Growing up in the mornings we woke up to jazz music played by my uncle. Music by Miles Davis, Count Basie and Stanley Turrentine."

C.L. Smooth will be honored at the Grand Induction Ceremony at the National Hip-Hop Museum along with Special Ed and Dres of Black Sheep on March 11.

Related Posts

Special Ed, CL Smooth, Dres of Black Sheep to be Inducted into The National Hip Hop Museum

Jan 26, 2023


Classic Albums: 'Mecca and The Soul Brother' by Pete Rock & CL Smooth

Jun 09, 2022

Pete Rock Condemns Violence in Hip-hop

Pete Rock Featured On New 'Unsung' Spin Off 'The Hit Makers'

Mar 29, 2022

What's new