I doubt I can think of anybody who’s as enamored with horn loops as Pete Rock is. Okay, maybe there’s that guy who wrote the theme music for Rocky and Bullwinkle and Mr. Peabody and Sherman, but that’s about it. If the Bomb Squad loved alarm or siren noises and RZA was crazy about piano loops, then Pete Rock was — and still is, as exemplified by some parts of the new PeteStrumentals 2, particularly “Play Yo Horn” — all about the horn loops.
Those loops were the first thing I was struck by when I first encountered his remix of the Public Enemy track “Shut ‘Em Down” on the radio back in 1991. The “Shut ‘Em Down” remix was when the beatmaker from Money Earnin’ Mount Vernon first made his mark as a remixer extraordinaire and put together one of those rare remixes that outdo and overpower the originals. His greatest achievement as a producer remains the classic Mecca and the Soul Brother album with CL Smooth, while his continuing PeteStrumentals series of instrumental albums isn’t half bad either. The latest installment of PeteStrumentals finds Pete Rock unleashing several more previously unreleased beats, which probably number in the thousands. We noted earlier that “One, Two, A Few More,” my favorite cut off PeteStrumentals 2, mostly due to its Earth, Wind & Fire “Fantasy” vibe, was actually made in 1995. It still knocks.
Other standout PeteStrumentals 2 cuts include “Heaven & Earth,” “Beat Goes On,” “Clap Ya Hands,” “90’s Class Act” and “Accelerate.” “Air Smoove” concludes with a soundbite of LaWanda Page saying “I was standin’ up here as nervous as a whore in church.” If you’re as nervous as Aunt Esther about PeteStrumentals 2 not measuring up to either the original PeteStrumentals, Mecca and the Soul Brother or even Edo G and Pete Rock’s My Own Worst Enemy, relax. Pete Rock’s still got it.
Stream or purchase PeteStrumentals 2 and stream the J. Rocc remix of the entire album below.