Skyzoo & Pete Rock Recruit Benny The Butcher, Conway The Machine, Westside Gunn & Elzhi on “Eastern Conference All-Stars”

Retropolitan is as New York as ordering a chopped cheese sandwich and a Backwoods while being watched by a bodega cat. It’s a crowded and delayed 4 train clattering into the Crown Heights-Utica Avenue station, a dollar slice, a yellow cab, a killer crossover at The Rucker, a busted fire hydrant in the summer with kids leaping into the water. It is a dozen tracks of elegiac, restore-the-feeling, five boroughs hip-hop from two of the finest to ever incinerate a mic or set an SP-1200 aflame: Skyzoo and Pete Rock. Welcome to the rebirth of the city.

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Let Skyzoo tell it: this is a love letter and a wakeup call to New York, all at the same time, as they have witnessed its culture stripped away layer by layer.  The tone on the Mello Music Group album is clarion from the introductory clips of “Men Like Us.” The Brooklyn MC and the Mount Vernon immortal have been tested in the wars; they’re experts trained under fire, fated to make waves and create change. In an industry overrun by clout- chasing amateurs, Retropolitan is testament to mastery of craft, the meticulous story-telling, sample chopping, syllabic intricacy, and drum pattern genius that can only come from a virtuosic pair for whom hip-hop perfection has been a lifelong pursuit.

You already know Pete Rock. If you don’t, just check the records shattered in the hip-hop Hall of Fame.  The Chocolate Boy Wonder is on everyone’s production Mount Rushmore. He is arguably the greatest remixer of all-time, behind both classic solo albums (Soul Survivor I and II, PeteStrumentals) and in the group formation with his original partner CL Smooth. In “T.R.O.Y,” he’s responsible for the anthem that defines the golden age of the most important form of musical expression of the last half-century. He made “The World is Yours.” And he crucially became a principal influence on subsequent production visionaries like J Dilla and 9th Wonder.

Today, Sky and Pete are back with Retropolitan’s second single, the dream team posse cut “Eastern Conference All Stars.”  When putting together Retropolitan, one of the first ideas I had was to put together the ultimate posse cut, with everyone who’s on the record being who I always had in mind” Skyzoo recalled.  “Something in the vein of DMX’s “Ni**as Done Started Something,” Jay-Z’s “Reservoir Dogs,” LL’s “4321” etc.  I broke the idea down to Pete and he immediately played this beat.  Pete knew exactly what would work for us to go bar crazy.  When you put 5 top-tier lyricists on the same team at the same time; a blowout game ensues.  Glad to have my peoples, who happen to be some of the best in the biz penmanship wise all in the same starting lineup for this all star game.”

Retropolitan includes 12-tracks, all produced by Pete Rock, with features from Styles P, Benny The Butcher, Conway, Westside Gunn, Elzhi and Raheem Devaughn.  It is more than an album of dope rhymes and dope beats.  It’s two generations of legendary native New Yorkers putting it down and pulling no punches.

Skyzoo & Pete Rock’s Retropolitan will be released on 9-20-19 via Mello Music Group.


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