Pete Rock- NY's Finest

So Pete Rock is a New York hip-hop icon if not a national one. He has scores of fans that will die saying that he is one of the pioneers of real hip-hop. He and C.L. Smooth formed one of the backbones of the hardcore rap scene of the 90's. In 2008, The rapper/producer is back with an independent offering featuring a wide variety of artists to supplement his vocals.

First the good, the album is a reach back to the classic 90's feel of hip-hop. The scratches in the beat, the drums, and the rhymes. It feels like a saturday morning classic on the way to the flea market, however, that's also the bad part. Just having a few of today's artists feature isn't nearly enough to save the album from feeling stale, and stagnant.

"We Roll" featuring Jim Jones and Max B is a glaring example of that. Neither one of these guys is going to be accused of stretching the envelope lyrically. The album is actually it's best when Pete's musical peers such as Redman and Raekwon show up. It seems as though they are best able to weave an intriguing verse into what becomes predictable sounds. The exception comes courtesy of Royal Flush who attempts to legitimize his thug credentials 15 years after he first stepped onto the scene. The result is a song that leaves an empty feeling. Little Brother represents well on "Bring you Back" but it isn't enough to save a lackluster effort that sounds better off being left in 94.

Overall that's the feeling after listening to the cd. If it were an old album that were found after digging in an old box somewhere, this would be considered a gem. but times have changed and the feel of this album is too old to be post-2000. The beats grow stale and the lack of any energy or variation over the tracks by Pete is just disappointing.

Rating: 2/5


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