Pete Rock Lost And Found: Underground Hip-Hop Classics

After his fruitful creative association with CL Smooth ended abruptly after two landmark albums back in ’95, Pete Rock soon resurfaced with his own label, yet most of this stuff never got released. Reconciling this, two Pete Rock-produced albums represent the inaugural release in BBE’s new Lost and Found series. The first is INI’s much-bootlegged "Center of Attention.” Notably counting Pete Rock’s brother Grap Luva as a member, the group dropped the well-received "Fakin’ Jax” single, and then disappeared. No matter, the jazz-funk swing, cavernous low-end and trademark horn blasts here represent Pete Rock’s production at his finest, while the group’s MCs coast over the beats with their conscious conversational flows. Simple yet head-noddingly effective, INI get plenty of help on the mic from Pete Rock, as well as guests Q-Tip and the Large Professor. While INI’s record is a much sought after gem for good reason and is worth the entire price of admission, little is known about Deda, whose album The Original Baby Pa is also included. His aggressive style recalls a pre-Big Pun Fat Joe, which isn’t really a good thing and to be honest it’s hard to see why Pete produced a whole album for him. Unlike the balance on "Center of Attention,” the Chocolate Boy Wonder’s beats totally overshadow the rhymes. However, the releases do underline Pete Rock’s timeless production and break beat trainspotters will notice many of these loops appeared years later on other records, obviously influencing the likes of People Under the Stairs and Jay Dee, further contextualising his relevance. (BBE)