Pete Rock @ The Echoplex
This going to be quick yall, just like the Pete Rock set. Luckily J-Rocc and Mr. Choc were in the house because they gave you what you needed (some real DJ’ing). Let me slow down because I am starting off little harsh. Don’t get me wrong – Pete Rock’s set had some highlights. Pete Rock came with some cuts but DJ’ing is way more than just playing some tight cuts. He tried to take us back to one of the East Coast’s shinning moments in time. The problem for me was the set was very linear. He didn’t explore all the vast selections the early 90’s had to offer. The line up: lots of Redman, Biggie, CL Smooth, Onyx, Keith Murry, a little Nas, the classic Mobb Deep. It was just a taster of some of the brightest, but definitely grittiest New York MC’s that era had to offer. When he played the West Coast set it was much of the same – the gritty gangsta side of West Coast Hip Hop, with NWA, Ice Cube, and Snoop to name a few. We thought he was really getting ready to mix it up, but instead he came with a single sample of a Pharcyde song and one, yes one Hieroglyphics cut. The thing is the era that he played from was Hip Hop at its finest. It is the period that birthed the Fugees, Kool G Rap, Free Style Fellowship, Ras Kass, The Roots, Organized Confusion, Brand Nubians – my god, there are clearly too many to name.
But my point is there is enough of the Yin and the Yang and I felt like he just played the Yin and said fuck the Yang. Not only was it the gritty Hip Hop, but the selections were from a very low vibration of song choice (the same vibration he was working from). There were so many uplifting, conscious, feel good songs that just were not selected that evening. Not to mention he made no real connection with the crowd. Quite frankly, he had a lack of energy and synergy with us “the party goers” there to get our groove on, let our hair down and dance our way to a happy medium. See the thing is, I know Pete Rock knows good music; he sampled some of the most poignant classics of our time. If he only would have played some of those, he might have had a classic set. Come on man! I felt he treated that set like a job rather than approaching it as a man who loves music and loves sharing the music with the world.