Monday, June 19, 2006

My Wake Up Call

Up until I heard Cool Calm Pete I’d been pretty cynical when it came to hip hop. I can’t even remember the last time I heard a hip hop album I could rock from start to finish, and even though I dig Ghostface, Lupe Fiasco, and Aceyalone, none of them could renew my faith that real (at least as I knew it) hip hop still had a bright future.

In comes Cool Calm Pete’s Lost. Yeah, I admit, I’ve definitely been sleepin on what’s new in hip hop since apparently this album dropped last summer, and Cool Calm Pete’s been polishing his flows with Babbletron for years now. One year after its release, I found some tracks from Lost on an MP3 blog and I’m definitely feeling the smart and effortless flows of the Korean-born, Queens-raised emcee.

While there’s nothing necessarily mind-blowing or groundbreaking about Lost, it brings me back to a time when hip hop was about dope beats and sick flows, and not just putting out club bangers or hardcore posing. More than anything, I like that Lost is fun. Listening to Lost was a little like listening to the playfully adolescent storytelling of Bizarre Ride II the Pharcyde. Doubt me? Check out the “Brush PSA” and see how Pete will have your head noddin to a song about brushing teeth. The album is definitely not without it’s darker moments, and so in a sense, it also reminds me of the introspection and dark moods of Atmosphere or LabCabinCalifornia.

As an MC, Cool Calm Pete’s flows are smooth and effortless yet extremely deliberate. The way rhymes just spill out his mouth you don’t realize how well-crafted and witty his lyrics really are. One of my favorite lyrical moments comes off “Dinner and a Movie”:

Last night I just slayed the cat,
in the middle of hot sex, where you at???

Insatiable like Peg Bundy,
even got on her best pair of undies,

god bless the girl,
I hope she rule the world,
like the greatest pussy make life unfurl.

Take her for a twirl quick lovesick,

caught looking like a late night flick.

Tricks, bags, bitches, broads,
these lame dames who call us dogs.

Chase the puss like riff raff Heathcliff,

Pepe le Pew if you on that stink shit.

azy lass love to smoke grass,
lecherous miss hate to French kiss

Old maid she’s sweet but talk dirty,

street walker, strut so purty.

In hindsight I love them all,
even the names that I can’t recall.

Production-wise, Pete handles the beats on half the tracks, and from what I’ve read, many of his samples come from 60’s and 70’s funk and soul records he dug up in Korea and Japan. While I’m not as big a fan of his production as I am his flows, the beats are nice and I like that he’s willing to flip a track, not just once, but twice, and can do it so seamlessly.

So as much as I complain about the state of true-skool hip hop, maybe it’s just always been there and always will be, it just takes a little work to find it.

[MP3] Cool Calm Pete :: Dinner and a Movie
[MP3] Cool Calm Pete :: The List

Cool Calm Pete's Page on Embeddedmusic.net

|bruce banner|


Blogger d!amond said...

i totally agree..
your the only one to know anythin bout cool calm so far
keep it breezy


8:30 PM  
Blogger bruce banner said...

hey d!amond, thanks for the comment, i definitely agree with you...he's been critically slept on, maybe cuz he just doesn't fit the image of your typical emcee...i'll try and dig up more emcees like him, any suggestions?

2:40 PM  

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