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