i don't post as often here these days as the time the blog takes up is just crazy, and i know a few of y'all follow me over at The Lost Tapes. but for those who still aren't in the know, i have to share this with y'all as well as this is exclusive out the ass and any real hip hop head will appreciate this for sure...
I think everyone are familiar with Pete Rock's pet project Soul Brother Recordings, which he started after or around the time he and CL went separate ways. he recorded full albums for at least InI, Deda Baby Pa and most likely an artist named Mekolicious.... BBE got a hold of some of the masters to the first two and released an incomplete version, even including two tracks that were from totally different sessions and had nothing to do with Pete Rock (the two last songs). it missed all the instrumental interludes, the freestyle skits, and even a song named "Keep On" as well.. you know all those things that make a Pete Rock album A Pete Rock album.
this is what Pete said in an interview with Unkut.com back in 2007:
Can we talk about INI a little?
INI was a group that just didnít progress on Elektra records due to switching of presidents. Sylvia Rhome came and then all hell broke lose. She fired a lot of people and didnít put my project out. They only released an INI single and bootlegged the album. Thatís how it got bootlegged, then people got copies of the album and tried to put it out, but certain songs are false, and the way they did it the qualityís not there. Thereís none of the interludes that I put with the album out there, theyíve only got the regular stuff Ė and they donít even have the whole lot! Of all the bootlegs, thatís not the whole album at all, period.
So the BBE version wasnít the real one either?
Nah, that was something that I gave them to try to make amends with the group, to try to get them some money. But it didnít really work out that way, they did some shenanigans with me. I didnít have proper management at the time, so I was kinda out there like that but I quickly got myself together and picked it up.
notice how he says none of the bootlegs are the real deal, the closest one seems to be this one put out by Pete himself (i've heard), but it misses several songs such as "Props", "Kross Roads" and my personal favorite "Mind Over Matter".
although those were never bootlegged, it's common knowledge (and pete says so himself in the quotes above) that the album was 100% finished with everything, intros, sequenceing, and even a catalog number. at this point it's custom for a label to press up a few advance test presses, at least to give out to the group themeselves, the producer, the engineer and posssibly someone at the label. maybe there were only 10 or 30 copies or something. here's where it get's interesting, because i managed to get my hands on a digital rip of the complete test press which actually is the FULL ALBUM as it was intended to be heard.
the sequencing is totally different, it has "Keep On" as well as all the songs mentioned above, it features a freestyle session with Mekolicious and Pete Red broken down into 4 segments that pop up every now and then between tracks, it has 5 instrumental interludes between songs, and it has a studio session conversation with Pete Rock and INI, introducing the group and the album, and talking some shit, etc. this is broken down into an intro, an interlude and finally an outro. the guy that sent my friend the rip was from Mt. Vernon and seems to have worked on the album in some capacity. it's only in 160 kbps and not separated into more than 2 tracks (Side A and Side B), but when it's this rare, i can definitely live with that. the running time is about 65 minutes.
so for the very first time, i present to you....
INI - "CENTER OF ATTENTION" (COMPLETE ALBUM)