Wednesday, February 27, 2008

NY's Finest

Walk the fine, short line, and put the needle to the grind
Representin' one kind, seeing eye for the blind
Witness what I carry on bears a further purpose
From how we do slam a few, then you want to purchase...

Next up in the line of “Golden Age” rappers, producers, and DJs set on “saving Hip Hop” or “bringing New York back” is the Money Earnin Mount Vernon’s own Pete Rock. The Chocolate Boy Wonder returned with his first full length album in nearly five years with NY’s Finest.

The offering isn’t a typical DJ compilation, where you get a 10+ tracks from a handful of established acts and then mainly filler with the producer’s own roster of MCs. Rather, Pete grabs the mic on a good number of tracks and lets the listener know he’s running things with his signature sound throughout.

Deep bass lines and drums permeate through a lot of the album, along with Pete’s signature jazz and horn samples. He more than holds it down on the decks as well, scratching on the leadoff “Pete Intro” and effortlessly blending his snippets and samples throughout the entire disc.

Pete’s most impressive task might be holding down the impressive roster of MCs and getting the album to flow as a Pete Rock record. Among the guests are Little Brother on “Bring Ya’ll Back” which includes a deep bass line and Phonte and crew’s dead on lyrics. Throughout the joint, Pete gives us his solid soulful interludes that we became accustom to back in the Mecca and the Soul Brother days.

The leadoff single features Jim Jones, and while the skeptical Hip Hopper may raise an eyebrow to this track , Pete handles the horn laden track masterfully and Jones gives us surprisingly solid lyrics. No where near the radio-friendly “Ballin,” but that’s a good thing.

Redman drops a solid verse on “Best Believe” (any track that references Carmelo Anthony is aight by us) and other 90’s rappers creep up with Lords Of The Underground, The Lox, Raekwon and Masta Killa (on the funk heavy “PJs” which the Wu duo flip street tales with precision), and even Chip-Fu comes through on a rather out-of place reggae track.

New heads get to take part, including the closer “Comprehend” with Papoose and Pete relinquishing the production duties to Green Lantern on “Don’t Be Mad” where Pete handles the track’s vocals solo over a guitar backed track. Pete, taking the standard MO of the older set, rails against the current state of “bubblegum” Hip Hop and has all the guests backing his “legend” status.

NY’s Finest is vintage PR, with it’s sometimes complex yet so-easy-on-ear melodies, smooth lyrics, and a transitionless flow from track to track that undoubtedly is PR at his finest. In a generation where Pete and other legends are slowly fading, NY’s Finest will remind the Hip Hop genre what it is sorely missing.

CHECK IT: Pete Rock - look into the new album and props from the Hip Hop community.

CLASSIC MATERIAL: "They Reminisce Over You"



Anonymous Hip-Hop Music said...

from the turn tables to CDs

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