Man oh man what a song.
As soon as the horns kick in you immediately know.
Original - Beginning Of The End-When She Made Me Promise
“They Reminisce Over You (T.R.O.Y.)” is the classic song recorded in 1992 duo Pete Rock and C.L. Smooth. The track was dedicated to their close friend Troy Dixon AKA “Trouble” T. Roy from Heavy D & The Boyz who passed away in 1990.
I had a friend of mine that passed away, and it was a shock to the community. I was kind of depressed when I made it. And to this day, I can't believe I made it through, the way I was feeling. I guess it was for my boy. When I found the record by Tom Scott, basically I just heard something incredible that touched me and made me cry. It had such a beautiful bassline, and I started with that first. I found some other sounds and then heard some sax in there and used that. Next thing you know, I have a beautiful beat made. When I mixed the song down, I had Charlie Brown from Leaders of the New School in the session with me, and we all just started crying." - Pete Rock
The song was the lead single off their debut album, Mecca and the Soul Brother.
It was an instant hit, climbing the mainstream Billboard Chart all the way to #58. No easy feat for hip hop back in the early 1990s. The song would go on to become a staple of classic hip hop.
The song samples several songs. Aside from the 12 second sax intro from the 1971 classic funk song “When She Made Me Promise” by The Beginning of the End, the most notable sample on the song is the saxophone and bass sample of Tom Scott’s cover of “Today” by Jefferson Airplane.
CL Smooth raps how his father was absent in his childhood and that his mother and sister raised him, taking on roles of mother, father, and provider. He thanks his mom for raising him right, but points out that he still needed a male role model in his life. He ends the first verse pointing out that this lack of a positive male figure in young boys lives destines them to repeat the cycle of not being involved in their own children's lives.
In the second verse he raps about the role his uncle played in helping him become a man and encourages others to make positive impacts to their families and communities.
The last verse wraps up with CL Smooth speaking to his deceased friend Troy, whom the song is dedicated to.
He acknowledges and thanks him for being one of the few people who always believed in him and kept him from being led astray. He then fills Troy in on how he and his family are and tells him they "reminisce" about him. He also shouts out the other families in his hometown of Mount Vernon, NY.
The chorus' ad-libs are provided by Pete Rock.
The song also samples a bass line from Buddy Montgomery's "Winding Up"