With his partner in crime, C.L. Smooth, Pete Rock was part of one of the True School's most beloved duos. As a DJ, beatmaker, and mixtape guru, however, the Bronx native became flat-out hip-hop royalty. Rock is a pillar of the underground grind, but, thanks to his sterling reputation for beat mining and an undeniable ear for the hit, his production work has graced records by everyone from Public Enemy, Ghostface, and Nas to 50 Cent, Notorious B.I.G., and even Brandy and Keisha Cole. His solo albums blend boom-bap beats and jazzy samples and productions into a distinctively tasteful whole. Simply put, Pete Rock is an institution.