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In basic algebraic language, two variables multiply their values and result into an amplified value. Two and two go together, cultivating a new and higher integer. This basic understanding is translatable in the form of literature, art, and interpersonal and intrapersonal relationships.
With the case of music, the basic translation meditates on the lyrical and aural components and their achievement once combined together. The overall quality is composed of the variables that are attached to these two mediums.
Hip-Hop displays this understanding with pure form. A song is most easily judged for its beat and the lyrics. The lyrics could be clever and witty, constructive and poignant, but when written over a lackluster beat, the song may get virtually no attention. Vice versa was easily applied, although, this does not seem to be the case in today’s standard of music.
During his prime years, Pete Rock has been accumulating his beat tapes, vinyl, cassettes, and incoming CD’s to translate his sound for his solo and collaborative work. A few of his produced commissionary work was included in the likes of Nas’ Illmatic, Public Enemy’s Night Train, and Slick Rick’s Behind Bars.
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In 1995, Pete Rock released a collaborative project solely produced by him with lyrical proteges InI entitled Center of Attention. Throughout the previous years in his musical journey, Pete Rock mastered the adjoined two-variable equation whilst contributing his portion to the efforts.
Before and after Center of Attention, Pete Rock has established his prodigious presence with his slick, simple patterned, and ostentatiously sampled production. If his attributed songs were to fail commercially or artistically, most of the blame was lent to the lyricist incapable of flowing with Rock’s ensnaring and pouncing beat rhythms.
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Along with long-time collaborative emcee C.L. Smooth, Rock found it viable to focus his trustful hand to the likes of InI, who unfortunately don’t have much of a presence after the 1990’s.
InI and their spoken-word trustees have such immaculate flows over Rock’s bouncy and prolonged themes. Center of Attention is the result of minds alike contributing their innate capacity to bring forth an indirect example of algebraic success.
All that makes this project creatively successful is Pete Rock’s production and InI’s acerbic lyricism.
The album acts more like a compilation of the recalled formula rather than a continuous narrative. Each of the sixteen tracks all tells a different story and the production is none like the other.
While songs such as Grown Man Sport and Step Up are one of the more culturally acclaimed tracks from this project, the same formula conducts such under-relished tracks such as Fakin’ Jax and The Life I Live. With respect to favorable familiarity, the song Grown Man Sport is a definitive display raw production conjoined with effective wordplay.
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In this track are three spoken-word artists, all individually appealing to the same dramatic prose with different literary techniques. Ras G starts out the track with seemingly unconnected but linear wordplay. Once Grap Luva finishes his lyrical poignancy, Rob-O appears appealing his words of wisdom to the common youth of the time.
Three professors multiplied by Rock’s production value manage to produce a naturally cohesive effort, as displayed in this track alone.
Grown Man Sport may be one of their more noticeable tracks, but songs such as The Life I Live follow the same formula. Rock’s beat is pure. He uses his snares and samples with conspicuous rawness. As the lyricists follow through the beat, the hypnotism speaks for itself. The listener has to be fully entranced into the song if he or she desires to understand its genius.
As InI are nowhere to been seen in the musical spectrum, Pete Rock’s consistency over the years has earned him the gratitude he worked for. Regardless of the time period or consistent efforts, the achieved pieces of works are what showcases the talent nonetheless.
As far as Hip-Hop goes, two and two go together effortlessly, as Pete Rock and InI proved in this album.