For hip-hop fans of a certain age, the release of a new Pete Rock album is akin to Christmas morning; we're excited, but also a little nervous because we may not get exactly what we want. But despite losing his status as an A-list producer (and seeing his mid-'90s, jazzy boom-bap template obscured by the Neptunes and Timbaland), Pete Rock doesn't disappoint on "Soul Survivor 2," and in many ways he sounds reinvigorated. His trademark drums are still among hip-hop's most compelling, and the album is more visceral than soulful, more dirty than dusty. Enlisting the help of longtime collaborator C.L. Smooth as well as fresh bloods like Dead Prez, Kardinal Offishall and Slum Village, the end result is prime and pounding NYC street-hop.
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