A morning is good when you can stream a new album from Pete Rock — let alone the sequel album 15 years in the making: Petestrumentals 2. Read Pete Rock’s preface then click play and leave this tab open in the background.
Petestrumentals 2 conjures memories of BBQ cookouts and 70s Blaxploitation scores, rattling summer jeep cruises and blunted Jamaican vacations. There’s a gorgeous requiem to Dilla (“Dilla Bounce (R.I.P),” where the originator pays tribute to the prodigy. You see the full range of Rock’s gifts on display: the meticulously chopped horns, unquantized drums, and air raid sirens. It contains the emotion of a thousand eulogies.
No record can’t be resurrected. There’s no sub-genre or era that can’t be converted into Rock’s singular brand of soul. His music is the closest thing we’ll ever get to a time-traveling DeLorean, effortlessly shifting between past, present, and future.
For the last 20 years, hip-hop heads have argued over the best Pete Rock original productions and remixes. Is it “They Reminisce Over You” or the “Shut ‘Em Down Remix?” Do you prefer Soul Survivor or the first Petestrumentals, his work with INI or the UN? His catalogue can’t be compressed into a bio; you need a book.
This is the latest chapter—an even 20 slaps and rhythmic levitations. It’s Pete Rock at his best, accelerating and kicking cosmic slop, extending wishes, hope, love, gritty drums and eternal wonder.