It’s rare to hear an artist releasing a record based purely off the requests of fans, yet since legendary Mount Vernon hip-hop producer Pete Rock released his acclaimed instrumental record, Petestrumentals, back in 2011, listeners have been begging for more. “People just want to hear it,” he says of the decision to make a sequel. “So from the requests I put that back out there. The first one was a great one, so why not continue it with this one?”
The self-proclaimed Soul Brother #1 – known for his work with CL Smooth, his signature remixes and his approach to fusing jazz elements into the east coast hip-hop sound – makes music out of necessity, collecting and chopping up records like it’s his calling. As a result Rock has amassed a tonne of unheard music, archived away since the 90’s. It’s a testament to the timelessness of Pete’s production, that these beats can be dusted off over 15 years later, and still sound like they could be the result of yesterday’s studio session. But don’t be fooled, Petestrumentals 2 – as the first volume – is a time capsule for another era. This is just a fraction of the music that has slipped away through the cracks of the millennium, just to be resurrected now.
“I just pick beats out that I feel sound good, and I make instrumentals out of them,” says Petenonchalantly, as though it’s child’s play. “The music becomes the basic vocal in that series. It’s an actual continuation [of the first volume] -the same exact thing but continued on in part two. Petestrumentals is a lifestyle album, it’s an inspirational album that you apply to your life.”