Pete Rock Dusts Off His Mic & Performs “One In A Million” With The Soul Rebels Band (Video)

Pete Rock and his latest partner in rhyme, Harlem’s Smoke DZA performed a B.K. show last month with a band, The Soul Rebels—who headlined the Brooklyn Bowl event.

In this footage shared exclusively with Ambrosia For Heads, viewers beyond B.K. get a taste of live band synergy, two MCs, and a deep cut that ought not be overlooked.

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Half-way through this one-off live performance of Pete Rock’s rarity “One In A Million” the band brought it down low, nice and quiet for the two MCs to do their thing. “I’m Soul Brother number one,” PR repeated, as his sidekick and collaborator on last year’s Don’t Smoke Rock, Smoke DZA continued his flow. Compared to the sharp definition of the first “One In A Million” that came out on the 1993 movie soundtrack to Poetic Justice and featured PR’s chief collaborator CL Smooth, this performance is much, much looser in feel. The two artists are having fun, so the band keeps it relaxed with a simple, laid-back groove.

The Soul Rebels offer up a big band sound, with their trumpets, saxophone, trombone, tuba, two drummers. Backed up by occasional scratching from the great producer, the overriding impression of the music is a summery jam among friends, rather than a more traditional Hip-Hop show.

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Also included here are two tracks from last year’s Babygrande Records release: “Milestone” and “Black Superhero Car.” Whereas the recorded “Milestone” was MC-heavy, Smoke DZA, accompanied by Jadakiss and Styles P, alongside BJ The Chicago Kid, here it’s kept simple, as DZA kicks off proceedings with maximum intensity.

The Soul Rebels have in past shows hosted a roll call of New York’s finest: Mobb Deep, Joey Bada$$, Rakim, Talib Kweli, Slick Rick, Smif-N-Wessun, Pharoahe Monch, Torae, Styles P, among others. They are currently working with Nas.

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Photograph by Dlo Slaughter.