Albums such as For Pete’s Sake are, to be blunt, strange. Although in all fairness, they are not many records out there like this one. The news that Mr. Chop made an album dedicated to Pete Rock’s greatest musical efforts was met with heavy anticipation. There’s the fact that Chop, known best as MF DOOM’s go-to instrumentalist, has a brief history for crafting some crazy beats. And never mind that he was looking to tackle one of hip-hop’s legendary producers’ hits catalog. So what would come of this? Would we get straight-up covers? Or would Chop opt to reinterpret Pete’s best stuff? If you had the chance to hear Chop’s take on “T.R.O.Y.” that we posted, you know that the producer opted to go for the latter.
Upon hearing Chop’s version of hip-hop classic “T.R.O.Y.”, it was clear he was not interested in musically coloring within the lines on here, so to speak. That track itself had very sparse elements of the original within it. Call me dense if you want, but the only similarities I could hear between the two versions of “T.R.O.Y.” were the dusty-covered drums rattling in the background. Both tracks also feature horns, which are perhaps the most recognized sample in Pete Rock’s “T.R.O.Y.”. In Chop’s version, though, the horns are sporadic and schizophrenic, as they pop up whenever they feel like it.
And, more or less, that track is very indicative of the rest of For Pete’s Sake. That goes from opening cut “Get On The Mic” through “Mecca And The Soul Brother” and on to “The World Is Yours”. The only sounds reminiscent of Pete Rock on here are the wild-ass drums littering each track, driving them into a gritty oblivion. Otherwise, this album plays much like a drug-induced jazz project, with woozy beats, hallucinogenic solos, and other vertigo-inducing sounds. But don’t think this is the kind of record you need to listen to with an herbal supplement or supply of alcoholic beverages. Just be prepared to be taken on a sonic journey through Mr. Chop and his studio friends’ wonderland of Pete Rock-inspired instrumentals.
In essence, though, this record is very much what Pete Rock was and is still is about: Bringing us the sounds of the past in new and amazing ways. Mr. Chop might have thrown some samples in here of cuts like “The World Is Yours”, but like I wrote, I will be damned if I can hear them. And, perhaps, that is exactly what he was going for. Like any good producer with an ear for properly flipping and chopping a sample, you want to make that sample your own and creat something new with it. And that’s exactly what Mr. Chop has done here.