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C.L. Smooth

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CL Smooth (born Corey Penn, October 8, 1968 in New Rochelle, New York) is an American rapper from Mount Vernon, New York and the vocal half of the influential hip-hop duo Pete Rock & CL Smooth.

After the pair split in 1995, Pete Rock, whose work with CL had garnered him a reputation as one of the finest producers in hip-hop, went on to produce (and remix) tracks for dozens of marquee-name and/or well-respected acts, and to release a batch of solo and instrumental albums. CL Smooth remained musically inactive.

The pair managed to reconcile their differences only long enough to record five isolated tracks in the ten years since their split: “Da Two”, “Back On Da Block”, “Fly ‘Til I Die”, “Appreciate”, and “It’s A Love Thing.” There were talks of a definitive reunion and a new album in 2004; however, the speculation was dismissed by both parties after another fallout.

During his period of hiatus, CL Smooth declined even to appear as a guest on other artists’ albums, with the exception of “Only the Strong Survive” with DJ Krush in 1996. Recently, however, he has contributed featured guest vocals to songs by AZ (“Magic Hour”) and Dipset affiliate J.R. Writer (the remix of “Mesmerize”).

He is currently signed to the Shaman Work Recordings label, with whom he and producer Mike Lowe have released the singles “American Me”, “Warm Outside”, “Smoke In The Air” and “I Can’t Help It”. A music video was made for “Smoke In The Air” by production group Bin Bin High. He plans to release his debut solo album, American Me, on October 10th, 2006.

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