Deluxe reissue of the first producer album from the Chocolate Boy Wonder! Along with all of the material from the album you get a bonus 7" with instrumentals of some of the best cuts. Here's what the mgmnt had to say about this hip hop classic way back when: The Soul Survivor album ain't really that old (ed. - almost 20 years at this point!), but with a contemporary listen, it does feel like an era ago- back when Mecca didn't have beef with the Soul Brother, back when cutting a song with a vocalist like Vinia Mojica sounded fresh and not obligatory, back when Pete Rock was still hip-hop's golden boy producer/MC. Soul Survivor packs its share of cuts that still stand up, and in some ways sound even better today then they did before: "Tru Master," a relatively neglected single back in the day, has become downright timeless, especially as Inspectah Deck flows with the kind of poisonous paragraphs that made the Rebel INS famous to begin with. Likewise, the plinking harp loop on "Half Man Half Amazing" feat. Method Man is the kind of inspired production that countless imitators in the underground have aped since. "Da Two" might bring a tear to your eye as Pete and CL recreate the kind of chemistry that made them hip-hop's power couple throughout the first half of the 1990s. "Verbal Murder" features the intriguing lineup of Big Punisher, Noreaga and Common getting loose over a signature hypno-boom track. "Truly Yours 98" revisits the Kool G Rap classic, with Large Pro and G Rap himself joining Pete for some verbal dumping on - "This I dedicate to the mixtapes I hate.." The lone Pete Rock solo track is "#1 Soul Brother" - all about them rough drums and a xylophone loop. There's a few collaborations that sound mish-moshed or unnecessary today, but on the whole this is about as good as producer + guest artist albums get. And there's obviously some serious truffles for the PR hounds. 16 tracks total with other spots from Ghostface, Prodigy, Vinia, Loose Ends, Raekwon, Black Thought and more.
- chocolate vinyl pressing
- double vinyl with bonus 7"
- music label: Loud Records 1998 / Nature Sounds 2016
reviewed by Kool Moby 02/2016
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