1994's The Main Ingredient picks up right where Mecca And The Soul Brother left off, continuing classic back to back releases from the duo. Characterized by sultry soul and jazz samples, The Main Ingredient saw a more polished sound from Pete Rock and CL, building on the praise they got from All Souled Out and Mecca And The Soul Brother. Right off the bat "In The House" sets off the album with Pete's trademark hypnotic drums (with a little help from a Q Tip vocal sample) and CL's elegant delivery. The Main Ingredient is full of countless hits; "Caramel City," "I Get Physical," "Get On The Mic," "Worldwide" and the singles "I Got A Love," "Take You There" and "Searching" all show that the duo is unstoppable together.
The duo's swan song is a powerful double album that still resonates with Golden Era hip-hop fans: sixteen cuts deep and full of intelligence, fire and warmth. Beats-per-minute-wise, the album mostly clocks at a comfortable strutting pace, bolstered by Rock's pioneering use of filtered basslines and a recently-hatched obsession with the Rhodes piano. The tracks filled speakers and headphones with soul, as CL continued to assert his lyrical prowess throughout.
"This definitely marks a very high place in my career," Pete reflects. "We were in a zone, and when you're in a zone, it's fun. It was a great time, and we put the album together with just that in mind. It was like a family thing, and music was a hobby, not a job. We kept it like we were in the basement, creating music just for the fun of it. Of course the business side reared its ugly head, and we eventually had to deal with that, but '94 was a great time. Music was more real back then."