featured REVIEW


Cool Calm Pete Lost Def Jux • 2005

Since his group Babbletron is on a (short) hiatus, Cool Calm Pete ought the time ready for a solo project. And hell, time was ready! The Korean-born Queens representative managed to put together a fresh album with creative productions, lazy raps and a healthy dose of cynicism. Unlike most of today’s rappers, Pete remains obviously cool and calm, rhyming at a slow, dazed-out pace over a potpourri of break-infested, low-down production.

'I’mma do this in G-minor', he raps in the title track, where relativism ('I got hopes and dreams, son, rollin down hill and the year has just begun') and sarcasm ('I’ve seen America lonely with its dick hard') reign but by doin 'the Melvin Van Peebles' and/or 'the Quasimoto' 'Come on legs, come on feet' he stumbles somehow towards a certain goal 'I’m just trying to make a lil bit of history'. With only a dap of exaggeration and still high of the music, we dare to say he’s just doin that, by makin one of the most solid albums of 2005, not far behind albums such as Edan’s 'Beauty and The Beat'. Listening to 'F-#$%%ck Yoooou', with the foul-mouthed, energetic Thirstin Howl as guest feature, reminds very much of Edan’s prog rock-sampling by the way. And with his voice goin high-toned from time to time, he ressembles of MC Paul Barman's quirky, humorous style.

Feeling associated with the rock philosophy, CCP calls himself 'The Korean Buddy Holly'. Spectacles on, clever and nerdy, with a firmly backpack attitude, his music will easily be categorized. However the artist won’t probably mind, 'Lost' sounds a bit deeper than most of the music that gets a 'backpacker' stamp. Makin a song about dental hygiene and turnin it into a hommage to Slick Rick, with even a cartoonesque feeling to it, is pretty genius. Furthermore, the production holds jazzy piano licks ('Wishes And Luck', a kind of an early No ID production that could’ve come from Common’s 'Ressurection' – 'I write rhymes because life’s that funny'), old school drums (the boombap of 'New Jack Biddie') and the chaotic, El-P-like production (by Snafu) on 'Cool Calm Science' bring together a palette of different sound colours, easier to digest than the lyrics and well-supportive to Pete’s dusty, glum flow.

First issued on Embedded, then imported by Def Jux into Europe, this alone prevails a great effort. Knowing the philosophy of the label, you can count on this album to be a creative fest of sonic paste-and cut, professional yet home-studio production with matching, poetical rhymes coming to you slow, but in your face. Rhyming with a certain persistent cadence, relaxed but pensive and confident (cool and calm!), Cool Calm Pete does it his way and 'niches' himself in today's overcrowded hip-hop market. Definitely one of the most refreshing albums of 2005!

POSTED ON 04|01|2006 by cpf

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