New and Notable Releases
Volume two of BBE’s remarkable Beat Generation series features the return to form of Mount Vernon soul brother Pete Rock. Rock, who never seemed to get over the loss of long-time MC CL Smooth, revives his classic style of smooth and soulful hiphop production on this instrumental collection. The occasional MC track featuring unknowns like Divine and Rock Marciano should satisfy hiphop purists, but the real appeal here is hearing Rock’s beats stand up without an MC over top. Piano licks, errant grunts and obese organ and string riffs roll together in one sparse mix that any MC, from CL on up, could only make worse.