You know, when it comes to making beats, not many producers are on the level of Pete Rock. Even if he isn't recognized as THE best producer in rap history, it'd be hard not to acknowledge his portfolio as top 5 material. That's what made me check out NY's Finest, but it's safe to say that this isn't PR's finest work. Sure, the beats are tight, but you already knew that would be the case. What hurts the album is lackluster performances from mediocre to so-so rappers. Despite that, there are some gems on the album. Joints like "Bring Y'all Back", "The PJs", and "Questions" all bang without incident. Lords Of The Underground redeem themselves somewhat after dropping a wack LP not too long ago. Pete's production on "We Roll" can even make the usually awful Jim Jones and Max B. tolerable. At the end of the day, the beats make everything worthwhile.
As you've probably guessed by the title, some of the rappers recruited for this album are just plain boring or wack. Jim Jones and Max B. soil the aforementioned beat for "We Roll" with some awful rhymes and disappointed me a little. And, while he's been tolerable over the years, Pete managed to ruin a few beats all by himself with some truly wack rhymes -- 'Til I Retire and Don't Be Mad (which is just plain awful) are perfect examples of this.
NY's Finest is a decent album. Pete Rock can still make dope beats, we all know this, but some of the rappers he solicited bring the album down some. There are enough dope tracks to make getting this a good idea though. I recommend checking this one out, and even though it's solid, I wouldn't make it a priority purchase.
Standout Tracks: The PJ's feat. Raekwon & Masta Killa, Ready Fe War feat. Chip Fu & Renée Neufville, 914 feat. Styles P. & Sheek Louch, Questions feat. Royal Flush (My Favorite), Bring Y'all Back feat. Little Brother, & Best Believe feat. Redman & LD