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Mr. Chop

For Pete's Sake

(Traffic; US: 3 Nov 2009; UK: Import)

Albums such as For Pete’s Sake are, to be blunt, strange. Although in all fairness, there are not many records out there like this one. The news that Mr. Chop made an album dedicated to Pete Rock’s greatest musical efforts was met with heavy anticipation. What would come of this? Would we get straight-up covers or would Chop opt to reinterpret Pete’s best stuff?


Upon hearing Chop’s version of hip-hop classic “T.R.O.Y.”, it was clear he was not interested in coloring within the lines musically here. That track itself had sparse elements of the original within it. The only similarities between the two versions of “T.R.O.Y.” were the dusty-covered drums rattling in the background. Both tracks also feature horns, which are perhaps the most recognized sample in Pete Rock’s “T.R.O.Y.”.


In Chop’s version, though, the horns are sporadic and schizophrenic. More or less, this track is indicative of the rest of For Pete’s Sake. That goes from opening cut “Get on the Mic” through “Mecca and the Soul Brother” and on to “The World Is Yours”. The only sounds reminiscent of Pete Rock are the wild-ass drums littering each track, driving them into a gritty oblivion. Otherwise, this album plays much like a drug-induced jazz project, with woozy beats, hallucinogenic solos, and other vertigo-inducing sounds.


In essence, though, this record is very much what Pete Rock was and is still is about: bringing us the sounds of the past in new and amazing ways. Like any good producer with an ear for properly flipping and chopping a sample, you want to make that sample your own and create something new with it. That’s exactly what Mr. Chop has done here.

Rating:

Weekly newspaper reporter by day, music reviewer by night (OK, and by day, too). When he's not writing for PopMatters, Andrew spends most of his time at online magazine Prefix and hip-hop site Potholes In My Blog.


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