There have been a mountain of indie artists with songs “produced” by Pete Rock on their mixtapes over the past 15 years – and almost as many had songs produced by Dilla. In the case of Pete Rock, many of the beats tend to all lead back to his monumental release, PeteStrumentals. The album, which turned 15 this year, was part of the Beat Generation Series, released by BBE Records. This groundbreaking series, which launched with Dilla’s timeless Welcome 2 Detroit, also featured projects by the likes of Jazzy Jeff (The Magnificent), Marly Marl (Re-entry), and more. PeteStrumentals was the second entry in the series.
PeteStrumentals is one of the many reasons that Pete Rock should be on your list of greatest producers in hip-hop history (right up there with Dilla). The songs on the album were originally recorded during the golden era (1990-1995), right in the same pocket of time where he produced joints like The World Is Yours, T.R.O.Y and Shut Em’ Down. So they definitely have that same stank – so to speak. Today, fans of the original, and a new generation of producers and hip-hop aficionados, can fill their ear holes with Pete’s follow-up, PeteStrumentals 2.
Unlike his original entry, this time around there are no vocals at all. This is a purely instrumental effort. Now before rappers start soaking these beats up with spit, please stop and really take this project in. There are a sea of producers out there today. Technology has afforded an extremely lax barrier to entry into the field. Not to get all righteous, but much like the field of photography, the youth these days don’t know how easy they have it. This project doesn’t miss a beat, like at all.
I remember an interview I had with producer/Rapper Oh No – Madlib’s brother and one half of the duo that produced all the music for GTA V. He told me a story about a time he bumped into his longtime friend Dilla at a record shop, and Dilla passed him a beat tape. He described the feeling he had when he first listened to the tape. That feeling, although not as “exclusive”, is similar (I assume) to the feeling I got off the rip when I first jammed PeteStrumentals 2. It sounds hungry, immediate and above all, the product of tireless digging and sleepless nights. The rapper in me gets restless about halfway through the 4th joint.
After 15 years, Pete Rock is, and always will be, my fave producer. This new CD will is a solid milestone in his amazing body of work.