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PeteStrumentals

Pete Rock

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Album Review

PeteStrumentals follows Jay Dee's Welcome 2 Detroit as the second offering in BBE's producer spotlight "Beat Generation" series. If you approach Pete Rock's joint as a song-oriented pop album, you may feel disappointed. Only two tracks ("Cake" and "Nothin' Lesser - Jamie's Mix") feature MCs and the repetitive, consistently mid-tempo beats get somewhat monotonous by the end of most tracks. If you approach the album as a radical work of sonic architecture, you may also feel disappointed, since Rock's relatively old-school sensibility isn't likely to make you hear music in a completely new way. But if you approach PeteStrumentals on its own terms — as a laid-back collection of atmospheric beats ideal for late-night chilling or freestyling over — then you may enjoy Pete Rock's soulful funk-jazz grooves, which are first rate for this type of recording. The deep bass and whispered "play back" vocal sample on "For the People," jazzy piano loop on "Hip Hopcrisy," big-band sax on "Smooth Sailing," layered horns and vibes on "Pete's Jazz," and strings on "Give It to Y'all" (as well as the scratching that starts about two minutes into the song) all fit together to form a first-rate instrumental joint. The MC tracks with Rock Marciano, Divine, Godfree, and Laku are located near the end of the album; this makes them seem almost like bonus tracks, or perhaps a late attempt to ensure that the listener hasn't nodded off, but they still fit fine in the overall flow of PeteStrumentals.

Biography

Born: 21 June 1970 in The Bronx, New York, NY

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Rapper, DJ, and producer Pete Rock first emerged in 1991 as one half of a duo with C.L. Smooth, debuting with the All Souled Out EP. A hit LP, Mecca and the Soul Brother, followed before the two went their separate ways in the wake of 1994's The Main Ingredient, with Rock remaining a prolific studio presence prior to the release of his solo debut, Soul Survivor, on Loud/RCA four years later. Dropped from the label, he continued his career as an independent producer, and later signed to Rapster/BBE...
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