PETE ROCK Lost & Found (BBE/Fusion III) Rating: NN
With no sign of a Pete Rock and CL Smooth reunion on the horizon, the legendary Mount Vernon DJ and producer has rooted through the vault for this double-disc set of outtakes, unreleased tracks and remixes. Lost & Found features music from 1994, when Rock's name still carried some weight in hiphop circles. Sadly, time has passed Rock by, and beats on the 23 cuts here are as dated as phrases like "word is bond." Simply replacing CL Smooth with unknown crews like INI and Deda might have seemed like a good idea at the time, and the MCs here do a good job of replicating the call-and-response Mecca & the Soul Brother vibe, but for anyone who's heard the original album, this is a poor copy. The producer can still piece together his trademark deep soul beats, but almost a decade later he sounds like he's in a Pete Rock cover group, not breaking new ground.