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Pete Rock & InI - Center of Attention [1995]

Updated on February 21, 2012

An underground non-essential classic recorded in 95 produced almost enitrely by Pete Rock the one and only (the last two tracks are produced by Spunk Bigga and

Although the emcees of InI (Rob-O, Grap Luva, I Love H.I.M., Marco Polo) aren't bad, its clear that the center of attention here is Pete Rock. Totally classic classic east coast boom bap great samples very jazzy all chilled out.

This is an incredibly relaxing and enjoyable stress-free hip hop album. The beats are jazzy, cool - classic Pete Rock - and the whole joint flows smooth with no real standout feature. What I mean is that the rapping isn't really the main feature -- the whole sound just kind of melds together producing this chill vibe that is very nice to the ears without really listening to the lyrics too much.

In fact the emcees on this album have a really low key laid back delivery. Some might say devoid of any energy. But the thing is, this chilled out style really matches the beats and gives the album that laid back feel. Its lazy and not too serious, not very commanding - really though if Wu-Tang was laying down verses on this joint it wouldn't have the same effect. I appreciate Center of Attention for what it is - a chilled out vibe the whole way through.

Another thing I like about this album is the general positive vibe it gives off. I used to think InI didn't bring much to the table but it is more than the beats here. The lyrics are positive and "conscious" (I hate using that word). InI drops some knowledge and some rasta related sht. Another notable point on this album is "To Each His Own" which features Q Tip and Large Professor. Interesting fact - the song "Acid Raindrops" (2002), one of the more popular songs by the hip hop group People Under the Stairs uses the same looped sample as the track "What You Say". Personally I like the Pete Rock beat better.

This is one of those albums that the more you listen to it and give it a chance the more and more you love it.

Underground Gem. 4.25/5


Note - the album is pretty hard to find as it was never officially released, only bootlegged, however the entire album appears on the Pete Rock album Hip Hop Underground Soul Classics released in 2003, along with another shelved album Original Baby Pa by Deda.

Fakin' Jax [video]

Track 6 - "The Life I Live"

Track 3 - "Step Up"

Track 13 - "Grown Man Sport"

Lost & Found Hip Hop Underground Soul Classics
Lost & Found Hip Hop Underground Soul Classics

Double album with Center of Attention and another previously unreleased Pete Rock produced joint.

 

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