Pete Rock – Soul Survivor II

Pete Rock - Soul Survivor IIPete Rock. I first heard the name not too long ago, when I found out he’d remixed PE’s Shut ‘Em Down and produced Common – The ***** In You. Pete is a very prolific producer, with a very ’70’s style that is truly soulful and can be nostalgic. He has a talent for picking out fitting MC’s to be on his songs, and since he doesn’t rap often & has a collab on every track that’s a good thing.

 

1) Truth Is ft. Black Ice

Over a great slow beat with echoey riffs and lazy strums, Black Ice talks his verse, which is pretty nice even with no flow. Kinda makes you feel like Malcom X is talking to you in rhyme, over a beat. (Great)

2) We Good ft. Kardinal Offishal 

The beat here is a funky guitar chord, I’m not sure how to describe it but it’s very 70’s. Canadian Kardinal has a good first verse, but his second is much better. (Great)

3) Just Do It ft. Pharoahe Monch 

Love this beat, a halting funkified…beat. Again it’s hard do describe, but it has bells and an echoey xylophone(?) chorus. Pharoahe’s verses are, as usual, illness. (Excellent)

4) Give it To Ya ft. Little Brother 

The beat is nice, laid-back and soulful as usual but unique in itself. This chorus has someone singing, and Little Brother’s verses are basically fire. (Excellent)

5) It’s the Postaboy ft. Postaboy

This beat is more energetic, chaotic. Postaboy dominates the track, and he’s aight, but his voice gets pretty annoying. (Decent)

6) It’s a Love Thing ft. CL Smooth, Denosh 

Pete and CL reunite on this track. It’s a 70’s-style love cut, the beat has horns and that echoey xylophone sound in the background, with a really bumpin base. Smooth’s lyrics are..smooth, and Denosh sings smoothly on the cut as well. The whole cut really has that perfect flavor they were looking for. (Excellent)

7) One MC One DJ ft. Skillz

The beat is again more energetic, this one has samples of James Brown screamin in the background. Skillz’ verses are pretty nice. (Great)

8) Beef ft. Krumbsnatcha

Very laid-back beat, a complex snare with harplike strums and bells in the background, but Krumbsnatcha’s verses are nothin special, except for the last one. At least he rides the beat well…the chorus can get annoying, though. (Good)

9) No Tears ft. Leela James 

This cut is about hard times. The beat is nice, base bumpin, more harplike strums that fit Leela James’ soulful, Macy Gray-soundish crooning. Gives a great, laid-back feeling. (Great)

10) Headrush ft. RZA, GZA

YES! A song with Wu-Tang Clan’s head honchos. The beat sounds almost like RZA and Rock collabed on it, like Pete tried to produce a song for a Wu group album. RZA leads off with a pretty nice verse, but GZA’s is better, str8 illy. (Great)

11) Fly Till I Die ft. Talib Kweli, C L Smooth 

The beat is smooth, that Kweli-fitting type of ethereal shit that backs his voice great, however it’s a bit stiff after a while. Talib’s verses are some realness, managing in his way to bring conscious rap into the mix of sickness and smoothness. C L Smooth is smooth on the hook, but unfortunately that’s all he does. (Great)

12) Warzone ft. Dead Prez 

Dead Prez on a party cut? At first this was a wtf track, but listen and you see what’s being said. Over a great vintage dance beat, Dead Prez rebukes the industry’s major artists going soft on club songs; the style of the song just doesn’t appeal to me, DP is still a bit too commercial for my tastes here and every line ends with “in da club”… (Good)

13) Da Villa ft. Slum Village

The beat is nice, a fade-in horn over soft piano chords and a laid back snare. Slum Village largely comes nice, especially the second & 4th verses. The hook is nothing special, but it really doesn’t matter. (Great)

14) Niggaz Know ft. J-Dilla 

This beat seems almost like a PR interpretation of a Dr Dre track, maybe Watcher (pt 1)..actually it’s very similar. It’s not bad, it’s not great. Dilla’s verse isn’t that nice, but his flow is really good. Pete actually raps on this one, maybe his verse was ghosted by J, maybe not. It’s in that moderate area. (Decent)

15) Appreciate ft. C L Smooth

C L returns on this last cut, rapping verses this time. His shit is smooth as usual, sounds a bit like LL on the cut. His flow is good and smooth, lyrics are aight. The beat is a nostalgic type of strummin guitar, I think it’s sampled. (Good)

 

My Rating: 4.2/5

All in all, Soul Survivor II is a solid followup and largely a really *****in good album. It has few failing points, and even fewer are Pete’s fault. But PR managed to bring out most of hip-hop’s most popular ‘underground’ MC’s from all over the country and out of the country, plus reunite with Smooth a few times, and he pretty much makes it work, showin versatility by crafting beats to match each MC’s/singer’s style.

My Recommendation: If you’re tired of the same old shit, and jus want somethin new, pick this one up; it’s def worth the $$.

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