Pete Rock in the mid-'90s was truly a machine, producing full albums worth of material for a host of Mt. Vernon artist. He even started his own Soul Brother Recordings imprint, a subdivision of Elektra, for that purpose. Unfortunately things didn't work out as planned and none of the material got the official release they deserved, save for a couple of 12" singles and one or two songs appeared on various compilations, before the label folded in 1996. The first record was an album by Deda Baby Pa called "Every Man For Himself" which probably would have been released in late '94 or early '95 and was even given a catalouge number. Next in line was the quartet known as INI, featuring Grap Luva, Rob-O, I Love H.I.M. and Marco Polo, whose album "Whos Gonna Rock The Spot?" (more often known as "Center of Attention") was widely bootlegged as one of the absolute best unreleased albums of all time.
The INI recordings also featured two guest appperances by a very talented Mt. Vernon spitter called Mekolicious Da Don, who ripped the remix of the "Fakin' Jax" remix as well as the album track "Grown Man Sport". But Meko was most likely aiming for an album himself, and if everything had gone as planned, I imagine the third LP on Soul Brother Recordings would've been the debut of Mekolicious Da Don, rumoured to have been called "The Rude Youth". There were several cuts recorded by this skilled emcee, the majority of which I collected on the Lost Tapes compilation "The Rude Youth EP". In my quest for more rare Pete Rock productions, as well as Mekolicious joints, I came across two slamming mid-'90s collaborations between the two thanks to a tip from Lex of French hip-hop duo Khalex (who also informed me that "Vernon Villains"'s real title is "Slow it Down (Rewind That Part), and that the song known as "Meccolicious" is really titled "One Time").
The two songs included in this post was uploaded to YouTube by LewBusy, a name you might remember from his shout out on INI's "Center Of Attention" track. "How You Feelin'" is classic Pete Rock (and should not be confused with "How You Feel" which is a completely different song), and showcases a superb chemistry between the MC and the producer; you feel this song at the top of this post. The second exclusive joint uploaded by LewBusy is darkly low-key track with elements of horns, and a somber piano hook over a bassheavy ostinato, called "Mek & Stax". It's a concept track from early '97 similiar to Real Live's "Larry-O Meets Iceberg Slick" in that it features Mek rhyming back and forth as two different characters, one of them being his alter ego Stax & Dough. These two joints have been up on the Tube for a couple of years but needs to be heard and I know I hadn't before.