Pete Rock :: Soul Survivor :: Loud/RCA
as reviewed by Steve 'Flash' Juon

You all know Pete Rock - the man who made CL Smooth a household name. Mostly people said that was due to the fact that whenever Pete Rock blessed a mic, he made CL's star shine brighter. Regardless of how you felt about his lyric skills though, the music always has sparkled. So let's talk about the music itself for a minute. If you haven't already been blessed with the opportunity to hear Soul Survivor then you're really missing out. Those people still living in the early 90's who think Pete Rock can only freak it with a horn section need a late pass. Pete can Rock a whole ORCHESTRA. Just check "Mind Blowin'" with the current first lady of hip-hop vocals, Vinia Mojica. You got the bassline, the strummed guitar groove, the XYLOPHONES, and Soul Sister #1 singing the hook - and THEN he hits you with a SAX to break down the chorus. If you can listen to this and honestly tell me your groove thing wasn't working, you need medication.

The whole album is on this steelo. Pete hooks up whatever it takes to make the track fat; whether it's loops, instruments, or DJ scratches with his legendary "Marley Marl in Control" skills. And his guest rappers shine like Jay-Z's rolex. From Common to Inspectah Deck to Kool G Rap to the long-awaited return of CL Smooth, everything here is in full effect.

So you know the grooves are fat and all that right? On that basis alone the album is gonna score double 9's from me. There are some nuggets of niceness here and there and I'll just go back to booming his fat ass album in my boombox.

Music Vibes: 9 of 10 Lyric Vibes: 9 of 10 TOTAL Vibes: 9 of 10

Originally posted: December 3, 1998