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PETE ROCK

He revolutionized rap production through groundbreaking studio wizardry. He made remixes matter more than the original songs. He established ad-libs as a standard recording asset. He introduced dramatic, forceful horns to rap’s sonic discussion. Pete Rock has notched these achievements during his impeccable recording, producing and remixing career, one of the most distinguished in rap history and one that includes collaborations with Nas, Common, Mary J. Blige, Ghostface Killa, Busta Rhymes, Public Enemy and Run-DMC, among many others. Showing that he remains sharp as ever, the Mount Vernon, New York rapper-producer returns with NY’s Finest, his best moment as an artist. “I called it that because I feel like that’s me,” Pete Rock explains. “I’m one of New York’s finest producers.” Pete Rock backs his words up with “We Roll,” a powerful boast-session with Jim Jones and Max B riding shotgun. Styles P and Sheek Louch unite on the hood-hyping “914,” an ode to Pete Rock and the LOX’s home area. Pete Rock then slows things down on “PJs,” a tag-team effort from the Wu-Tang Clan’s Raekwon and Masta Killa. The pair deliver their signature brand of slanguistics, giving Masta Killa (one of the most slept-on Clan members) a major platform on which to shine. “Masta Killa, there’s something about him as a person that I like,” Pete Rock reveals. “His aura, his movements. You can just see it in his eyes the type of dude that he is. I feel the connection. I see the streetness in him.” Pete Rock’s family’s native streets are located in Jamaica and he gives a nod to his heritage .. For War.” The reggae-styled track also features Chip-Fu from the Fu-Schnikens and Renee from Zhane and is sure to catch people off guard. “Renee sang on the hook and I rhyme in Patois,” Pete Rock says. “My family all comes from Jamaica. It’s pretty surprising to hear me rhyme in Patois, so people are like, ‘Is that Pete Rock?’ They’re bugging off that. You can’t help but to like it.” Elsewhere, Pete Rock teams with Little Brother for the autobiographical “Bring Ya’ll Back” and works with DJ Green Lantern on the anti-hater mandate “Don’t Be Mad.” Pete rocks the mic on “Till I Retire” and partners with Royal Flush on the hardcore “Questions.” Redman blazes through “Best Believe,” Papoose shines on the soulful yet hardcore “Comprehend” and R&B singer Rell croons on the piano-accented, dancefloor ready “That’s What I’m Talking About.” With the sonic diversity evident on NY’s Finest, it may seem as though music flows through Pete Rock’s veins. Maybe it does, as his father was an avid record collector and DJ. Thus, as he was growing up in Mount Vernon, New York, Pete Rock gravitated toward music. He picked up his father’s ear for catchy basslines and memorable drum patterns, as well his father’s penchant for record collecting -- a passion to this day. But what made Pete Rock different from many other kids growing up in hip-hop culture’s formative years was that he didn’t want to just make music or be like his idols. He wanted to stand on his own, to become an idol to others b [more]

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