*** 1/2 Pete Rock, "Soul Survivor," Loud/RCA.

Flawlessly assembled, the legendary New York deejay-producer-rapper's debut album pairs him with hip-hop stars such as Method Man, Kurupt and former partner CL Smooth. A brilliant, sonic manipulator, Rock cuts and pastes captivating samples and memorable vocal snippets into a seamless mix. Stellar, boast-heavy wordplay from Rock and his guests makes for an irresistible package.

Albums are rated on a scale of one star (poor), two stars (fair), three stars (good) and four stars (excellent). The albums are already released unless otherwise noted.

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