June 14, 2011

Don’t thank Abe Beame later.

When the die is cast, where will Pete Rock stand in the pantheon of great producers? Heavy D’s little cousin has a Forrest Gumpish quality of always being in the right place at the right time. You will find the greatest rappers working during the golden era here, a diverse range of styles and boroughs from Rakim to Big Daddy Kane to Chuck D to Ghostface to AZ to Max B. That’s no coincidence. Pete has a generous spirit and a love of collaborating with any and all talent open to working with him. But you might not place him in that “visionary genius” category often reserves for a Q-Tip, Large Professor or Dilla. Even in the anecdotes attached to his recent feature on Complex, the story never gets much better than “dude came over, picked a pre-made beat and I mixed it down.” His best point of comparison is DJ Premier, an equally dedicated and inspired crate digger with a rather straightforward approach to looping.

Primo might have more  bangers, but there’s a quiet, emotive quality to Pete Rock’s flips. There’s a rarefied care exhibited — a tenderness to the songs spanning two decades that comprise this zip file. His ruminative, soulful beats capture their time and place, not to mention the very essence of hip hop. This timeless quality had no better expression than one of the greatest songs our genre has to offer, “T.R.O.Y.”. From the moment a fuzzy rip of “When She Made me Promise” drifts in like a lost ghost, when that nostalgic horn loop from Tom Scott’s “Today” comes in acapella, Pete and CL’s dedication to lost friends and family reminds us that in the act of sampling, hip hop itself is a medium built on memories, the past, on the backs of the greats, gone but not forgotten.

Using this excellent scrap album as a tracklist, POW proudly presents 39 (sorry Charles, you were arbitrarily replaced with “Tru Master”) songs from an all time great just in time for summer.

MP3: V/A – Mount Vernon is Four Square Miles: A Pete Rock Retrospective


1. Heavy D & The Boyz- Don’t Curse (ft. Big Daddy Kane, Kool G Rap, Q-Tip, Pete Rock & CL Smooth)
2. Public Enemy- Shut Em Down (Pete Rock Remix)
3. A Tribe Called Quest- Jazz (We Got)
4. Main Source- Vamos A Rapiar
5. Pete Rock & CL Smooth- T.R.O.Y. (They Reminisce Over You)
6. Pete Rock & CL Smooth- Straighten It Out
7. Pete Rock & CL Smooth- Skinz (ft. Grand Puba)
8. Redman- How To Roll A Blunt
9. K-Solo- Letterman
10. House Of Pain- Jump Around (Pete Rock Remix)
11. Run DMC- Down With The King (ft. Pete Rock & CL Smooth)
12. Heavy D & The Boyz- Blue Funk
13. Nas- The World Is Yours
14. Pete Rock & CL Smooth- I Got A Love
15. Pete Rock & CL Smooth- Take You There (ft. Crystal Johnson)
16. Jeru The Damaja- Can’t Stop The Prophet (Pete Rock Remix)
17. Biggie Smalls- Juicy (Pete Rock Remix)
18. AZ- Rather Unique
19. AZ- Gimme Yours (ft. Nas)
20. Common- The Bitch In Yoo
21. InI- Fakin Jax (ft. Pete Rock)
22. Sadat X- Escape From New York (ft. Deda)
23. Pete Rock- In The World (ft. Large Professor)
24. Rakim- The Saga Begins
25. Pete Rock- Tha Game (ft. Raekwon, Prodigy & Ghostface)
26. Pete Rock- Strange Fruit (ft. Tragedy Khadafi, Cappadonna & Sticky Fingaz)
27. Pete Rock- Verbal Murder 2 (ft. Big Pun, Noreaga & Common)
28. Pete Rock- It’s a Love Thing (ft. CL Smooth & Denosh)
29. Jim Jones- Gs Up (ft. Max B)
30. Ghostface Killah- Be Easy (ft. Trife)
31. Ghostface Killah- R.A.G.U. (ft. Raekwon)
32. Pete Rock- We Roll (ft. Jim Jones & Max B)
33. J Dilla- Remember (ft. Bilal)
34. The Lox- Its Like That
35. Method Man & Redman- A-Yo (ft. Saukrates)
36. Raekwon- Sonnys Missing
37. Kanye West- The Joy (ft. Pete Rock, Jay-Z, Charlie Wilson & Kid Cudi)
38. Smif N Wessun- That’s Hard (ft. Styles P)
39. Pete Rock- Tru Master (ft. Inspectah Deck & Kurupt)

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