Feb 25

“Til I Retire…” - Pete Rock’s NY’s Finest Album Review

Posted by TC @ 1:31 pm

Pete Rock New York’s Finest album cover

Longevity and legendary are attributes not to be taken lightly.Yet, Pete Rock wears both effortlessly on his sleeve as medals of honor earned from his years of transcending Hip-Hop production to new heights. His legacy has him regarded as one of the most revered beatsmiths to ever cut a record, even without the widespread celebrity. By utilizing a predominately New York cast and displaying the sample-layered soundbeds for which he holds the patent, Pete Rock makes a strong case to be considered with his latest LP, NY’s Finest.

Kicking things off with the electronica adrenaline rush of “We Roll” featuring Dipset alumni Jim Jones and Max B, the stage is set for some of Pete’s treats - the Soul Brother way. NY’s Finest includes a bevy of timeless tracks that thread the line of new and old school without sounding dated. Conjuring up blasts from the past, impressively “The Best Secret” with Lords Of The Underground and the grimy “Questions” featuring the long-lost Royal Flush make for album highlights. And the dancehall gem “Ready Fe War” has Chip Fu and Renée Neufville of Fu-Schnickens and Zhané fame respectively rocking the mic with serious reggae flavor.

Producing may be Rock’s strongpoint, but he still can kick a rhyme with admirable flair. The DJ Green Lantern produced “Don’t Be Mad” comes off slightly lukewarm but he offers redemption when perfecting his lounge act with R&B crooner Rell on the smooth “That’s What I’m Talking About.” Holding his own on “914″ with Styles P. and Sheek Louch, where the trio rep for Yonkers speaks volumes, but the salute goes to the solemn yet resounding “Til I Retire.” With lines like “Gotta rendition and rhetoric ya never heard/spit it with clarity/my words are never slurred…”, spaced out drum loops, and scratch samples of Run-DMC, let the light in this thing called Hip-Hop shine bright in even its darkest days.

Although there’s no unforgettable horn melodies or breakthrough remixes that bleed with classic innovation, NY’s Finest is a rock solid album from a veteran producer. With carefully executed mellow song arrangements, the experience is evident in the music because it doesn’t sound forced or over calculated. It’s also a sign that Pete Rock won’t be slowing down anytime soon. And that’s a good thing for everybody that’s listening.


Video - Pete Rock - NY’s Finest EPK

Pete Rock Featuring Jim Jones - We Roll

Pete Rock’s - Till I Retire

Pete Rock Featuring Sheek Louch - 914

For more info, visit www.myspace.com/officialpeterockpage.

34 responses so far, say something?

  1. jefferson.jackson (dub.Z) Says:

    very solid album…

  2. Douglas Howser Says:

    Solid album indeed… I think I would’ve given it a solid 4 instead of a 3 1/2 though.

  3. AmpGeez a.k.a Young Geez Says:

    I think 3 1/2 cigs is pretty accurate. Solid production through out. It’d be more interesting to hear PR producing an artist’s whole album. Some of the collab’s worked (ie. Jim Jones & Max B, Styles & Sheek, etc.) & some didn’t (ie. Redman, Papoose, etc.) As much as I liked “NY’s Finest” those beats would’ve worked better with a single flow/voice instead of all the features. Or maybe just better features (C’mon, Lords Of The Underground? Chip Fu?)

  4. Greumsmatic Says:

    “We Roll” is now a classic prod.
    off topic: JAY-Z & NAS TO MAKE
    A grade above The Post’s Page Six but still a gossip column none the less, The NY Daily News Rush & Molloy gossip section are reporting the Hov & Esco a colloborative album entitled “The Kings Of Hip Hop” on Hov’s Carter Music Group -
    “Rumors continue to swirl about Jay-Z’s still-unconfirmed new record label, Carter Music Group. We hear that Jay is partnering with rapper Nas on an album of duets, “The Kings of Hip Hop,” to be released on the label early next year. Jay’s rep is keeping tight-lipped.”

  5. AmpGeez a.k.a Young Geez Says:

    “The Kings Of Hip-Hop” = Horrible album title

  6. Greumsmatic Says:

    @yeahh, amp
    but i think it’s just the tittle project ..!
    and look homie : ‘ !!! “Rumors… !!! ‘
    jigga&esco / Ni**er’s keeper !! That’s better ?

  7. Gotty™ Says:

    I gotta agree. 3.5 was good (even though I think a 3.75 would be most accurate). Going w/a 4 to me would be giving it too much credit or giving out a freebie rating out of respect.

    But with “We Roll” & “Til I Retire” it’s a minimum 2.5 just off those two alone.

  8. one.eye.deer. Says:


    somehow this has The Best Of Both Worlds written all over it…

  9. one.eye.deer. Says:

    pretty accurate review TC….
    and for the record, why isn’t Chip-Fu getting mor burn these days? His cut on Ali Shaheed’s album was pretty nice too…

  10. Drunken Master Says:


  11. AmpGeez a.k.a Young Geez Says:

    That Chip Fu joint kinda seemed outta place on this album.

  12. franchise Says:

    i agree. finally sat down and listened to it this weekend. good production but was missing this level of “outstanding” i was expecting. nothing remarkable on the album but def a good listen. the hard-ass in me gives it a 3. going back to WGIFC III now.

  13. Dre a.k.a Deneire Says:

    Anthony Hamilton ft. Ghostface Killah - Do You Feel Me? [Remix]

    Talib Kweli - Independent Hustle Freestyle

    M.O.P. ft. Bilal - Get Rich (prod. by Hi-Tek)

    Rakim - Hip Hop (prod. by Nick Wiz)

    Young Dro - House On Me

    Young Buck - The Strip Club

    Flo-Rida ft. Lil Wayne - American Superstar

    Nas - What It Is (prod. by DJ Khalil)(Snippet)

    Young Dro ft. R. Kelly - Swag On

    Lloyd ft. Young Dro - You

    Slick Pulla - Talk Real Slick

    Max B. - Blow Me A Dub [Remix]

    Block Xchange ft. Ludacris - Head Noddin’

    M.O.P. - God Bless & Goodnight

    Mobb Deep - Things You Should Know

  14. Mr. 101 Says:

    I just peeped him hosting this new show on mtvU n sh*t





    his video ain’t half bad!

  15. Douglas Howser Says:

    “That Chip Fu joint kinda seemed outta place on this album”
    Agreed. Truth be told…. I actually like the joint with Papoose, and the “Best Secret” w/ Lord of the Underground. Also, I really like “Bring Ya’ll Back” featuring LB & Joe Scudda (loved the track they did on Pete’s last album as well).

    I was surprised that we didn’t have a classic collabo with C.L. Smooth. I feel like that was what the album was missing.

  16. BuLLiT Says:

    okay, so i am actually the only one who don’t like this album :p
    i like to be the underdog

  17. The Gift Says:

    does anyone have Roots Come Alive album?

  18. one.eye.deer. Says:

    for Weezy F. fans

    from Blender

    Yesterday, Blender traveled to Atlanta to visit Lil Wayne — it was our second Weezyscursion in three months, the first being for this recent feature — and the wildly prolific MC was nice enough to play us several tracks intended for his forever-delayed LP, Tha Carter III. We didn’t hear final mixes — and it’s anyone’s guess if titles (much less entire songs) will stick — but what we did hear was enough to convince us that the album will (almost) be worth the long, long wait. (It’s currently set for an April release.) The rundown below is lighter on lyrics than sonic description largely because the internal rhymes, dazzlingly extended metaphors and references to food stacked up faster than we could write them down — a good sign for Weezy diehards.

    >> “Lollipop”
    “I’m not a lollipop rapper,” Wayne told us, by way of introducing this song as the radio single, “but this track is cold.” It’s one of many new Wayne songs to feature T-Pain/Roger Troutman vocoder singing effects and it transcends its boner-as-blow-pop conceit on the force of its strangeness: Wayne’s singing isn’t just a run through the T-Wayne ProTools patch, it’s chopped up and layered over itself in a dense, alien collage. It actually de-naturalizes the vocoder gimmick, which is as common as high-hats nowadays. “Dudes are gonna hate this one,” he said. “Ugly dudes, that is.”

    >> “Beat the Block”
    Hollowed-out and bleepy. The percussion approximates African hand drums, which is why Wayne refers to the track as “Kunte Kinte” at one point; he rides the Alex Haley reference, rapping that he eats “Roots for dinner,” before adding that he’s “In the garden, feeding fruits to sinners.” He also tells us about a girl who likes “the Weezy F — I bad-grade her.”

    >> “Eat You Alive” [ft. Ludacris]
    The T-Wayne effect is back and pushed to an avant-garde extreme: multitracked, demonic, paired with pained female vocals that intone “he’s gonna eat you aliiiiiive.” Wayne likes food, and this is about comparing rappers to food and then going Audrey II on them. The math here is simple: Wayne makes any track he’s on better + Ludacris makes any track he’s on better = A Möbius strip continuum of WTF?!

    >> “I’m Illi”
    This “street single” produced by “Bossy” beatsmith Bangladesh should be released to radio next week. There is no hook — just non-stop rhymes over a thunderously spare backdrop: a screwed-down vocal sample repeating “I’m Illi,” pounding 808 drums and claps.
    >> “Let the Beat Build”
    Drums by longtime Wayne producer/engineer Deezle, ethereal soul sample by Kanye West. Structured something like Coldplay’s “The Scientist,” which is to say we start with nothing but melody for about 8 bars, and then 808 drum sounds are introduced glacially: high hats for four bars, high hats and snares for the next four, and so on, so that the song revs up in an excitingly disjointed, slow motion way.

  19. HURACAN Says:

    The album was good, not great… The lead singles were great but I was checking for what else the album had to offer… Some of the collabs were out of place (Chip Fu? Lords?)… and when you think Pete Rock, you are already expecting some extra-ordinary shit so when you hear an “ok” track it comes with a dissappointing type of feel… either way, it’s a definite purchase…

    and why would you be surprised that CL Smooth wasn’t on the album?

    Papoose is never coming out with an album…

  20. trife Says:

    The LOTUG track is extra fresh….eff what ya heard.

  21. HURACAN Says:

    For those who still purchase…
    Circuit City Exclusive giving away a T-Shirt with Badu’s new cd…
    more bang for your buck… hopefully it’s the logo on the album cover… nice gift for wifey…

  22. one.eye.deer. Says:

    @ Gift

    Roots Come Alive


  23. HURACAN Says:

    Hey Gift… that Roots was posted up a few days back… check for it…

  24. Gotty™ Says:

    >> “Lollipop”
    “I’m not a lollipop rapper,” Wayne told us, by way of introducing this song as the radio single, “but this track is cold.” It’s one of many new Wayne songs to feature T-Pain/Roger Troutman vocoder singing effects and it transcends its boner-as-blow-pop conceit on the force of its strangeness: Wayne’s singing isn’t just a run through the T-Wayne ProTools patch, it’s chopped up and layered over itself in a dense, alien collage. It actually de-naturalizes the vocoder gimmick, which is as common as high-hats nowadays. “Dudes are gonna hate this one,” he said. “Ugly dudes, that is.”
    I heard a snippet of “Lollipop” a few weeks ago (hey guys!).

    That’s all i have to say @ this time.

  25. HURACAN Says:

    Yo trife.. the track was indeed hot but Lords?… come on!!… flow was horrible… definitely someone else could have blazed on that track… and I think LB should have been on the Papoose track… they would have killed it…

  26. 500k flea Says:

    Pete Rock is ill but Nicolay & Kay Timeline is where it’s at right now!!!

  27. bankhead Says:

    I like the album a lot. solid tracks

  28. AmpGeez a.k.a Young Geez Says:

    That Carter III is gonna be a monsta!! I thought all the T-Pain-ism’s were wack but this writeup sounds promising. C’mon Gotty, what’s the scoop on that snippett?

  29. BuLLiT Says:

    500k flea Says:

    Pete Rock is ill but Nicolay & Kay Timeline is where it’s at right now!!!
    Do i hear a “Hell yeah” ? :D
    you really need to review this album, or at least give it a listen :)

  30. AmpGeez a.k.a Young Geez Says:

    I know I’m crazy late, but I’m just getting a chance to listen to “Connected”. Dope album. Who the eff is Kay?

  31. American Greumster Says:

    Interview with Chi-Town producer No I.D who speaks on his upcoming projects with Killer Mike, Rhymefest, Common and Clipse.
    http://fakeshoredrive.blogspot.com/2008/02/fsd-chats-with-no-id.html Chi City Standup!

  32. We Roll Greumsy ! Says:

    Dj Abdel featuring Rohff & Oliver Cheatam -
    Get Down Saturday Night
    Tha Fu**ing Club Funk Banger, feel tha vibe
    U can’t resist, imparable. Peace Yall !
    We Roll … Every Saturday Night

  33. Mr. 101 Says:

    He tlaks abou tthe CL Smooth collab somewhere on here, think it’s his 4th or 5th segment in the show:


  34. Dottin Says:

    Ain’t no “Mecca” or “Main Ingredient” None of this Emcee’s will ever Rock a PR beat better then C.L Smooth, It’s terrible compared to his old stuff FACT! Peace, I’m trying to keep PR’s original production style alive…..www.myspace.com/rhythmicinstinct

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