After 17 years of holding it down for the East Coast, Mount Vernon, NY’s renowned rapping producer Pete Rock has still got the gusto to make soulful and streetwise hip-hop. And his latest LP is a testament to his staying power. NY’s Finest is not a total triumph, though. Specifically, Pete’s sampling wizardry occasionally dissipates when he rehashes used loops or digs up unimposing ones (like on “Comprehend”). But a little rustiness doesn’t take away from the high points. The punchy, horn-driven “914” with Styles P and Sheek Louch sees Pete return to classic form, while the reggae joint, “Ready Fe War” with Chip Fu, is a welcome surprise featuring him flowing in patois. All in all, Pete delivers.