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August 21, 2005

{     Cool Calm Pete - Lost     }    

coolcalmpete-copy.jpg Alright, I realize that I'm in the minority here, but I fucking hate summer. Hate it. Call me “Crabby Appleton” or whatever, fuck it, summer can eat a dick. You can’t do a single goddamn thing without breaking a sweat. Forget going outside anyway cause all you see are these little bastards zippin around everywhere, talking about text messaging and bumping their goddamn Gwen Stefani (“bananas” R.I.P.). The all-invasive cumulative stench of society’s collective asshole permeates the atmosphere and all you want is for the goddamn sun to go down (word to Peter Murphy). So when I tell you that this album put a smile on this cranky-ass old-man’s sunburnt face, you better take notice, ya little bastard, cause Cool Calm Pete is straight crushing the competition on some ol Grape Bonkers-type shit. Armed with easily one of the best names in hip hop, Cool Calm Pete’s solo debut effort “Lost” is another example (along with Edan and Kanye) as to why 2005 will be known as the year of the MC/producer, as he flips shit lovely. Mic skills are plentiful in the Cool Calm repertoire as Pete drops science with such confidence and bravado, his effortless paradigm at times seems deceptively simplistic. At ease with dropping anything from turbo-charged super scientifical madness (Wind Sprints) to broke-ass pocket lint raps (Lost’s title track), it is his clear-concise delivery that is Pete’s secret weapon, rocking style upon style, song after song, while never losing any of that classic east cost golden-era swagger. Imagine if Beck had put down the “Irony Handbook” and picked up some Kool G Rap flows, lisp and all, and you’re beginning to connect the dots. A personal highlight on this record is hands-down the Slick Rick-goes-DAISY Age hypeness of “Brush P.S.A.” where Cool Cat Calico’s sly sense of humor will be knocking out both cavity creeps and sucker MCs alike for years to come. New York’s favorite klepto, Thirstin Howl III as well as newcomers Jungle Mike and Embedded partner Jayminila round it all out by lending cameos to “Lost” that serve to actually add to this varied album’s overall cohesiveness (definitely a hip-hop rarity). Production wise, Pete brings headnodder beats served up to perfectly compliment his flows, sharing the spotlight equally. Cool Calm’s late-80’s inspired beats are straightforward with no bullshit gimmickry and it can easily be seen that it is the production on “Lost” that lends the material weight, anchoring the various styles displayed from drifting off course. Flipped jazz-standards, well-placed vocal samples (Naked Gun? A YO!), and some psychedelic garage loops all frame Pete’s narratives perfectly. Close your eyes and you can almost hear your favorite Juice Crew MC rocking over top of these beats in some other parallel timeless universe, where Marley Marl is still king. While the majority of Lost’s production duties rest solely on Pete’s shoulders, a few others stop-by to help keep our man Calm and Cool. Ed Live exploits my weakness for ill piano loops by dropping a pair on “Cloudy” and “Wishes and Luck” to feed my addiction. Doc Strange also represents on the boards but it is Pete’s Babbletron brethren DJ Pre that shows up and damn near steals the show with the multi-episodic, time-juggling love rap “Dinner and a Movie” as well as the boom-bap bonanza posse cut that is “New Jack Biddie” (check those violins!). While “Lost” does boast a few guest spots both on the mic and on the production tip, not a second goes by that the listener can’t see Pete fingerprints smacked all over, upholding the Cool Calm imprint. So while his crew’s first album was largely slept-on (Babbletron’s underrated “Mechanical Royalty”), Cool Calm Pete’s “Lost” is definitely worth banging out both during and long after this goddamn summer is over.

     » Cool Calm's Embedded Site

Comments

great album, equally great review. nice site too

Posted by: Djef at September 22, 2005 7:29 PM
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